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President Chen's Interview with Time Magazine

Taipei, May 16 (CNA) Republic of China President Chen Shui-bian said in a recent interview with Time magazine that he would want his mainland Chinese counterpart to understand that the "one country, two systems" policy Beijing advocates has "no market in Taiwan." 

Time reported in its May 21 cover story that Chen believes Beijing has made the mistake of assuming that his administration would soon fall, as well as the mistake of ignoring his administration instead of resuming dialogue. 

In response to a hypothetical question on what he would say if mainland Chinese President Jiang Zemin were to visit Taiwan, Chen said that he would want to let Jiang know that Taiwan is a true democracy, and that Taiwan practices true religious freedom. 

Regarding his upcoming state visit to ROC allies in Latin America, Chen said that recent polls show more than 62 percent of the people in Taiwan believe his transit through the United States will be beneficial to the promotion of Taiwan's overall diplomacy. He added that he finds it "strange" Beijing is interfering in U.S. affairs by voicing opposition to his transit. 

Chen said: "The U.S. is a sovereign and independent country, and it should be able to provide the appropriate reception and service to visiting heads of state from other countries." 

In response to a question about a U.S. decision last month to approve the largest arms sales package to Taiwan in nearly a decade, Chen said that he believes the decision was made because of mainland China's increasing military budget and expanding military buildup. 

He added that the decision could have also been made because mainland China has continued to put off resuming dialogue with Taiwan, which he said would not only credit Taiwan but would also benefit mainland China and Jiang. 

The Time article chronicled Chen's transformation from a straight-A student to a maritime lawyer, a legislator, Taipei mayor and finally the president. 

The article praised Chen as a "Taiwanese Al Gore" who could use a little more Clintonian warmth but has already become the Taiwanese everyman--successful and middle-class--only smarter.



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