Apr 21, 2004

Taiwan: Chen emphasizes ties with US

President Chen Shui-bian met with Judy Martz, governor of the U.S. state of Montana. He stated the he will try to further boost bilateral ties with the US
Untitled Document Published: April 19, 2004

President Chen Shui-bian said on Monday that Taiwan has consistently attached great importance to its relations with the United States and that he would work even harder during his second four-year term to further boost bilateral ties.

Chen made the remarks while meeting with Judy Martz, governor of the U.S. state of Montana, who is heading a delegation of Montana officials on a trade promotion visit.

"We treasure our relations with the United States. In the next four years, we'll make continued efforts to further upgrade Taiwan-U.S. relations," Chen told his guest.

He also said his administration would make communications channels with U.S. authorities smoother.

"In the coming four years, I will focus on promoting economic development and political reforms. In any event, we hope that Taiwan's success story will be an asset, rather than a liability, for the United States," Chen said.

For her part, Martz congratulated Chen on his re-election and invited Chen to visit Montana in the near future.

Martz, an accomplished ice skater, was previously Montana's first female lieutenant governor and then was elected as the state's first female governor. Chen lauded Martz for her achievements in creating jobs, promoting educational reforms and controlling budget deficits during her tenure.

Chen said Montana has maintained cordial relations with Taiwan. He expressed his gratitude for the passage of resolutions by the Montana State Senate and State House of Representatives last year in support of Taiwan's bid to join the World Health Organization.

Montana has maintained a representative office in Taipei since the early 1980s. A Taiwan trade delegation signed a preliminary agreement on the procurement of wheat from Montana during its visit to the U.S. state last year.

"All these point to close trade ties between Taiwan and Montana," Chen said, adding that Martz' visit would contribute to further growth in Taiwan-Montana trade and economic cooperation.

Foreign Minister Chen Tan-sun, who assumed his post last Friday, was also present at the meeting. It marked the first time that Minister Chen had accompanied a foreign dignitary to see President Chen.

Minister Chen, a U.S.-trained physicist-turned-politician, worked for the U.S. federal government for many years before he returned to Taiwan in the early 1990s. President Chen said Chen Tan-sun's appointment shows Taiwan's determination to further improve its relations with the United States.

Douglas Paal, director of the American Institute in Taiwan's Taipei office, was also present at President Chen's meeting with Martz.

Source: Central News Agency