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President Chen Meets with a Delegation from the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs

Taipei, Feb. 8 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian said Thursday he looks forward to seeing a silver lining on the horizon for lasting peace in the Taiwan Strait.

Chen made the pitch while meeting with a delegation from the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), an influential Washington-based, non-profit educational organization aimed at promoting U.S.-Israeli ties.

Chen told his guests that as the Republic of China's head of state, he is obligated to safeguard national sovereignty, dignity and security and promote the well-being of all ROC nationals.

With this understanding, Chen said he has on many occasions pitched for normalization of relations across the Taiwan Strait. "We have come up with many goodwill, innovative proposals for achieving permanent cross-strait peace. We hope the international community will recognize and support our sincerity and efforts."

Noting that the 21st century marks a new era of peace, reconciliation and cooperation, Chen said achieving cross-strait peace requires coordination and cooperation of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

He went on to point out that the ROC's national security and cross-strait peace cannot solely rely on the procurement of advanced weapons. "We should ensure security in political, social, economic and energy spheres as well as strategic and regional security," Chen explained, adding that the ROC wants to see peace prevail not only in the Taiwan Strait but also in every other corner of the world.

The president further said he will continue to promote Taiwan's political democratization because democracy, freedom and human rights are not only universal values but also a guarantee for national security.

"I'll also do my utmost to make the ROC a new beacon for freedom and human rights protection in the 21st century," Chen said.

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