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President Chen Meets with Mr. Lester L. Wolff and Mr. Morton Davis

Taipei, Jan. 11 (CNA) "Now the new government is ready to walk with balance and for a long distance," said President Chen at the Presidential Office where he met with a group of leading financiers and corporate consultants from the United States and Taiwan.

Chen said cross-strait relations are an issue impacting not only peace in the Taiwan Strait but also stability in the entire Asia-Pacific region. Meanwhile, he added, the government is not only striving to seek steady progress in the economic sector, but will also secure sustainable development in the overall economy.

The president welcomed Lester L. Wolff, former U.S. Congressman and leading consultant to the Internet firm International Commerce and Exchange Systems (ICES), and Morton Davis, a Wall Street financier who is visiting Taiwan at the invitation of Vice President Annette Lu.

Chen expressed particular gratitude to Wolff, one of the authors of the Taiwan Relations Act, for the role that the bill has played both as the backbone of U.S. relations with Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic ties between the two countries and the basis on which the United States has provided defensive military equipment to Taiwan over the years.

Citing former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in his acclamation to Davis, Chen said "as long as one works hard, he can create exceptional achievement."

The theory applies to Taiwan, too, Chen said, repeating the claim he made during his presidential election campaign that Taiwan--despite its limited area and natural resources, coupled with a high-density population and low support in the international community--can be a role model of democracy and an enviable knowledge-based economy, if the people and the government make concerted efforts with one heart.

For his part, Wolff said he is pleased to see that today Taiwan is making stunning progress in democratization and also increasing its friendship with the United States--developments that the TRA was designed and enacted for.

Wolff added that no matter what policy the incoming U.S. administration will take toward Taiwan, the U.S. Congress' firm support for Taiwan will remain unchanged. He said he will drum up further support for Taiwan in the United States in years to come.

Meanwhile, Davis noted that although Taiwan is now facing some economic difficulties, the strain is only temporary. He said he believes that with high creativity and dynamic thinking, the Taiwanese people will have a huge impact on the development of mainland China, and will continue to progress and prosper in the new century.

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