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President Chen Meets with Mr. Wei Jingsheng

Taipei, March 8 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian said Thursday he strongly opposes the proposal to ban any individual person from entering Taiwan simply because of ideological or opinion differences. 

Chen made the remarks while meeting with Wei Jingsheng, an exiled mainland Chinese dissident who is currently on a speech tour in Taiwan. 

Chen said that since he assumed office, relevant national security agencies have on some occasions sought his consent to "blacklist" some people as "persona non grata" and ban their entry to Taiwan. 

"I have consistently rejected such suggestions. I can't agree to the practice of banning somebody from entering Taiwan simply because he or she bears different ideologies, concepts or opinions," Chen explained, adding that he has asked national security agencies to change their old-fashioned thinking. 

Chen went on to say that he didn't harbor any biases or prejudices when he named his senior and national policy advisers. "Their personal ideologies and stances on Taiwan's future relations with mainland China are not my major concern since Taiwan is already a pluralistic democratic society," he stressed. 

Noting that whether Taiwan should move toward independence or unification with mainland China is a sensitive issue here, Chen said his senior and national policy advisers are also far divided over the issue. 

"The makeup of the my policy advisers reflects Taiwan's present political spectrum," Chen said, adding that his advisers include both pro-independence and pro-unification diehards. 

Chen said he himself does not fully agree with the views and speeches of some of his senior and national policy advisers. "But I must respect and defend their freedom of speech," the president said, adding that he is not entitled to restrict their freedom of speech. 

Chen said that since his inauguration, he has been pushing for the legislation of a bill to pave the way for the establishment of a national human rights commission. 

"I'm hopeful that the move can inspire mainland China to follow suit," Chen said, adding that he looks forward to working together with Wei and other human rights activists on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to push for the creation of a cross-strait human rights forum and make human rights protection a common goal of Taiwan and mainland China. 





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