President: Leave Unification
2, 2000 Associated Press
Taiwan (AP) - Taiwan's president urged China on Saturday to
start a dialogue with the island, but to leave the issue of
reunification for future generations to resolve.
to put aside the dispute on Taiwan's political status, Chen
Shui-bian said the governments should not impose their wills
on the Chinese people.
30 or 50 years, the situation across the Taiwan Strait may
be entirely different, and reunification may no longer be
an issue,'' Chen said, addressing a new committee established
to advise the president on China.
should have the next generation in our minds when tackling
the issue,'' he said.
the Communist Party took over China in 1949, Taiwan has refused
to be ruled by Beijing, which has threatened to attack if
the island seeks independence or indefinitely postpones reunification.
once a supporter of independence, has taken a more conciliatory
stance toward China since taking office in May. But he
has refused to commit to reunification, saying it is a choice
to be made by the Taiwanese people.
the same meeting, Lee Yuan-tseh, a chemist and Nobel laureate
who heads the president's advisory committee, said the Taiwanese
are afraid that reunification with the dictatorial China would
bring political suppression.
of us believe we are Chinese, but this is not to say we will
compromise on our yearnings for freedom and democracy,'' Lee
social base for reunification is in fact very fragile at the
moment,'' he said. ``In the future, we hope we can jointly
establish a peaceful, prosperous and democratic China.''
leaders have said they won't meet with Chen until he agrees
that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China. Chen says
he would discuss any topic, but would not accept the precondition
renewed his offer for dialogue on Saturday.
long as we free ourselves from the walls being built around
us, we will be able to put aside differences and seek consensus,''