09/23/2005, 00.00
TAIWAN - CHINA
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Chen offers unconditional talks with Hu

Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian has offered to hold unconditional talks with his mainland counterpart, Hu Jintao, saying discussions may open "a window of opportunity" for peace across the Taiwan Strait.

Mr Chen made the comments on Wednesday night during a stopover in the US city of Miami, Taiwan's state-funded Central News Agency said yesterday.

Taiwan's president said he understood the expectations of the international community for Taipei and Beijing to reopen dialogue.

"I would like to display my goodwill and sincerity again and invite the leader of the other side for a talk without any preconditions," Mr Chen said during a dinner with members of Miami's Taiwanese community. The aim would be to "shake hands and talk in a rational manner, and ... jointly open a window of opportunity leading to democracy and peace on both sides of the Taiwan Strait".

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