Taiwan: President Chen Shui-Bianhas Offers Talks with China
Chen made the comments on Wednesday evening during a stopover in the US city of Miami, Taiwan's state-funded Central News Agency said on Thursday.
It quoted Chen as saying he understands the expectations of the international community for rivals Taipei and Beijing to reopen dialogue and help maintain stability in the region.
"I would like to display my goodwill and sincerity again and invite the leader of the other side for a talk without any preconditions," Chen said during a dinner with members of the local Taiwanese community.
He said the aim would be to "shake hans and talk in a rational manner, and ...Jointly open a windo of opportunity leading to democracy and peace on both sides of the Taiwan Strait."
The Taiwan leader said he hoped democracy and human rights could prevail in China and the two sides would coexist peacefully. But he also lambasted Beijing for enacting an anti-secession law earlier this year, which authorizes the use of military force against Taiwan if the island moves toward formal independence.
Earlier on Wednesday Chen received a human rights award through video-conference from US Congressman Tom Lantos representing the Congressional Human Rights Causus.