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US has no favorite in Taiwan presidential poll: AIT chief

The United States will look forward to cooperating with whoever wins the 2008 presidency here and has no favored candidate in the campaign, a senior US official said Thursday.
Stephen Young, director of American Institute in Taiwan, told a news conference in Taipei he had met all ruling and opposition presidential hopefuls and will have more talks with them to exchange views on issues of mutual interests.
Young, who recently returned from a business trip back to Washington, said he has no favorite in Taiwan's presidential race and his country will continue military cooperation with the island no matter which party wins next March.
"The US will fully respect Taiwan people's freedom (on the matter),”the de facto US ambassador said.“We will look forward to working with the one elected in maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
Toward that end, Young said Washington remains committed to upholding the status quo and urged Taiwan and China to sit at the negotiation table to resolve their differences.
Young, however, appeared unruffled at the fact that all the ruling Democratic Progressive Party presidential hopefuls have refused to repeat President Chen Shui-bian's“four no's”pledge -- whereby Chen promises not to declare independence, hold a plebiscite, alter national name, flag, and anthem, or write a two-state clause into the Constitution to define cross-strait ties.
"The US did not pressure Chen to make the pledge,”Young pointed out.“Rather, he did so after hearing (analyses of) our mutual core interests. We plan to do the same next year.”
All DPP candidates -- Vice President Annette Lu, Premier Su Tseng-chang, DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun and former premier Frank Hsieh -- make renaming the country and pursuing full statehood for the island their top policy goal, if elected.
The main opposition Kuomintang candidate Ma Ying-jeou has promised to expand cross-strait exchanges to boost Taiwan's economy, if he wins.



Updated : 2020-12-02 01:19 GMT+08:00