President Lee Teng-hui's 'goodwill' pledge on cross-strait policy in his inaugural address was aimed at bringing relations back to a 'normal path', a leading Taiwanese official said. Chang King-yuh , chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council of Taiwan's Executive Yuan, said Mr Lee had proposed 'certain new initiatives', adding that this was the first time he had offered to go to the mainland on a 'mission of peace'. 'After the election, Mr Lee has a better understanding of what Taiwan people want. He now has a very strong sense of mission to pursue the development of peaceful relations between the two sides of the strait,' Mr Chang said. Taiwan's official policy on national unification states that high-level exchanges will only be carried out at the 'medium stage' of bilateral development. Though Taiwan officials have not declared that strait relations have moved on to the 'medium stage', Mr Chang said leaders from both sides could still meet when there is an agreement to end enmity. 'The mainland policy can be applied with flexibility under appropriate circumstances,' he added. Asked whether the time was right for cross-strait political negotiation, Mr Chang said there was room for development. However, he said it was important to await the mainland's response to the inaugural speech. Mr Lee did not mention the term 'one China' or Taiwan's bid for United Nations membership in his speech. Asked whether this demonstrated an adjustment in Taiwan's mainland policy, Mr Chang said these issues were left out to avoid controversy. 'Mr Lee has clarified the concept of 'one China' in his many interviews with foreign media recently and he did not want to raise these controversies again.' However, Legislator Fu Kuen-chen of the New Party criticised Mr Lee for not being courageous enough to call a halt to the arms race across the strait. 'The most serious problem across the strait is the arms race. It is like a black hole,' he said. 'Even the United States and Russia dare not engage in that kind of activity any more. Lee mentioned nothing about this.' Mr Fu also regretted that Mr Lee had set new criteria for meetings between leaders from both sides. 'He dropped the condition he mentioned in the past that such meetings would only be possible at international venues.'