(CNSNews.com) - Reform Party presidential candidate Pat Buchanan commended the Taiwanese people for defying Beijing voting Chen Shui-bian as President-elect on Saturday, an opposition politician who has long championed Taiwan's independence.
Speaking at a Washington news conference on Monday, Buchanan said, "I believe that the Taiwanese people stood up and defied the belligerence and the bullying and the threats from Beijing. I think it was an admirable testament to their courage, and I really congratulate people like that who, under the real gun, exhibit their commitment to a free and open society and the right to decide their own destiny. Very, very courageous and very, very impressive."
Meanwhile, Chinese President Jiang Zemin on Monday rejected Taiwan's calls for peace talks, saying that it must first accept reunification with communist China. Jiang was reacting to Chen's call for a peace summit with China that Chen made over the weekend after winning the election.
Jiang also told reporters in Beijing that "the 'One China' principle must first be recognized and under this prerequisite, everything can be discussed."
Chen said he was prepared to discuss all aspects of Taiwan's relationship with China, provided Beijing treated Taiwan as an equal and did not insist on its definition of the "one China" principle that considers Taiwan a Chinese province and never an independent country.