The first cross-Strait peace forum, an important platform for non-official political dialogue between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, opened in Shanghai yesterday to rally political wisdom and expand consensus.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Zhang Zhijun, director of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said, “Though some political disputes in development of cross-Strait relations can be shelved temporarily, it is impossible to avoid them totally or for a long time.”
While acclaiming the achievements made during the past five years in cross-Strait relations, Zhang said, “The path will not be flat and straight when we forge ahead as there will be various obstacles to be cleared away and many bottleneck problems that need to be cracked.”
“It is unrealistic and impossible to deal only with economic issues while ignoring political ones,” added Zhang.
Zhang pointed out that upholding the principle that the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China is the common political foundation to ensure peaceful development of cross-Strait relations and solve cross-Strait political differences.
No matter how big these political differences are, the one-China framework should never be allowed to waver or be harmed, he said, noting that all political issues should resolved within this framework. “This is the bottom line that should not be loosened,” he said.
Kao Yu-jen, chairman of Taiwan’s 21st Century Foundation, said during the forum that the “difficult things” and “the disputes” are in fact the long-standing cross-Strait political problems, which are the issues the forum aims to discuss.
The launch of the cross-Strait peace forum shows both sides will gradually push forward the institutionalization of the peace framework, replace confrontation with equal consultation, and create a win-win situation through cooperation, Kao said.
During the two-day event, participants are expected to discuss cross-Strait political status, the one-China framework, reasonable arrangements for cross-Strait political relations, and interaction rules for non-government institutions in external affairs.
They will also exchange views on the meaning and content of a peace agreement and ways to carry it out, a military security confidence-building mechanism, and cooperation in maritime and non-traditional security fields.