Taiwan President Chen Shui
-bian said his administration will review a decades-old ban on direct trade, transport and postal links with mainland China, saying the policy was "outdated, rigid and inflexible."
Chen, inaugurated in the island's first democratic transfer of power, added that his speech was a statement of his broader vision for the wealthy, democratic island. He pledged to review the policy as long as national security can be assured. Taiwan has banned direct trade, transport and postal links with China since
the Nationalists lost a civil war to the Communists on the mainland and fled into exile in Taiwan in 1949.