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Taiwan Leader's Stance on Reunification Deplored
Beijing Wednesday reproached Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian for going against the common aspiration of all Chinese people for national reunification in order to promote creeping independence in his first two years in office.

Zhang Mingqing, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said the mainland would continue its policy of "listening to Chen's words and watching his deeds" over the next two years until his term ends in 2004.

The policy was put forward after Chen, from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, won the "presidential" election in March 2000 as a major effort to warn him against taking any radical separatist moves.

"In the past two years, he has embraced neither the one-China principle nor the 1992 consensus and has even refused to recognize himself as Chinese," Zhang told a regular press conference.

"What's worse, he has been continuously engaging in gradual pro-independence activities and recently went even further, claiming that Taiwan is a sovereign state."

Since taking office, Chen has conducted a string of de-Sinofication moves, aimed at creating a "Republic of Taiwan" -- part of his creeping-independence policies.

Zhang, however, said the Taiwan leader cannot be the master of the cross-Straits question despite his conspiracy to separate the island from the motherland.

He indicated that Beijing is fully capable of reuniting the island and mainland through its long-standing principle of "one country, two systems" and by peaceful means, while not undertaking to renounce the use of force.

The spokesman's remarks are Beijing's first official comment on Chen's mid-term performance, since he came to power on May 20, 2000.

Zhang urged Chen to stop indulging in political show in his talk of improving cross-Straits relations and to return to the one-China principle by taking practical steps.

As for the establishment of the three direct links across the Taiwan Straits, Zhang said Beijing was looking forward to the negotiations between Taiwanese private groups and their mainland counterparts.

He added that the talks could be given substance if the Taiwan authorities entrusted or authorized these private groups to negotiate directly with the mainland on opening trade, transport and postal services.

He reiterated the mainland's stance that the three direct links must be taken as internal affairs within one country and in line with the principles of directness, bilateralism, reciprocity and mutual benefit.

(China Daily May 30, 2002)

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