Regarding the news story, "Taiwan Locked in China's Erratic Orbit," [Aug. 1]: John Pomfret mistakenly asserted that "the president [of the Republic of China on Taiwan] has no interest in uniting with China -- even in the distant future." President Lee Teng-hui has stated on many occasions that he supports the eventual unification of China under freedom and democracy.

When President Lee characterized the relationship between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait as a "special state-to-state relationship," he was not presenting a new position. Rather, he was emphasizing the fact that the Republic of China is and always has been a sovereign state since its founding in 1912, so there is no need to seek Taiwan independence or a so-called independent Republic of Taiwan.

We have not changed our policy. We have every intention of continuing to promote cross-strait dialogue and implementing bilateral agreements including those reached at the Koo-Wang talks in Singapore, 1993, and pursuing our stated goal of a China unified under democracy, freedom and prosperity in the future.

The president's remarks were an attempt to lay a more solid foundation between the two sides in hopes of elevating the level of cross-strait dialogue and establishing a democratic and peaceful mechanism for increased exchanges. Insisting that cross-strait dialogue should be based on parity is necessary at this stage.


Director, Information Division

Taipei Economic and Cultural

Representative Office in the United States