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State Councilor Criticizes 'Defensive Referendum'

State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan on Monday criticized the so-called "defensive referendum", launched by Taiwan authorities, at a forum to commemorate the Ninth Anniversary of Jiang Zemin's Important Speech entitled "Continuing to Endeavor for the Accomplishment of the Grand Cause of Reunification of the Motherland".


Tang delivered a speech at the forum, saying that though the leader of the Taiwan authorities called the referenda "defensive" and "peaceful", this provocation, no matter how it was packaged, can only cause confrontation and animosity between the two sides, aggravate the already strained relations and push them further to the brink of danger.


"This runs completely counter to the mainstream desire of Taiwan compatriots for peace, tranquility and prosperity. Instead of a deepening of Taiwan's democracy, it is a design to mislead and manipulate the Taiwan people," Tang said, adding that it is also a serious threat to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the international community at large.


He said the real threat to Taiwan's security does not come from the mainland, but from the unbridled activities of Taiwan independence separatism whipped up by the Taiwan authorities.


"It is the Taiwan independence forces that threaten to cause the unraveling of the status quo in the cross-Straits relations and put peace in the Straits in danger. The Taiwan authorities have twisted the mainland's justified efforts to oppose Taiwan independence separatism and maintain stability in the Straits as an excuse to launch the referenda," Tang said. He said the "baseless accusation" turns the truth upside down, and aims to win more sympathy and support for their separatist ambition.


He stressed that the leader of the Taiwan authorities has refused to accept the one-China principle, denied the "1992 consensus", advocated such separatist propositions as "one country on each side", pushed for incremental Taiwan independence, and even put out a timetable for Taiwan independence, thus seriously eroding the foundation for closer cross-Straits relations and posing a grave threat to peace and security in the Taiwan Straits.


Nine years ago, Comrade Jiang Zemin made an important speech entitled "Continuing to Endeavor for the Accomplishment of the Grand Cause of Reunification of the Motherland". Inheriting and building on Comrade Deng Xiaoping's thinking of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems", the speech put forward an eight-point proposal on the development of cross-Straits relations and the advancement of peaceful national reunification.


"The speech is the programmatic document for the solution of the Taiwan question," Tang said.


"Over the past nine years, we have firmly and persistently implemented the basic policy of 'peaceful reunification and one country, two systems' and the eight-point proposal, and facilitated stronger cross-Straits relations through the adoption of many positive and pragmatic policies and measures," he said. " Today, exchanges between the compatriots on both sides are closer and more dynamic".


Tang pointed out that "we must continue to adhere to the basic principle of 'peaceful reunification and one country, two systems', earnestly implement the eight-point proposal on the development of cross-Straits relations in the current period and the advancement of peaceful reunification, unite with the Taiwan compatriots in an effort to move forward the cross-Straits relations and hasten the realization of China's reunification."


"We stand for resolving the political differences between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits in a spirit of equality and accommodation, and we are ready to push the cross-Straits dialogue and negotiations in a pragmatic and equal manner consistent with the one-China principle," he said.


He pointed out that by advocating "no pre-conditions for cross-Straits talks and negotiations", the Taiwan authorities are in fact trying to renege on the consensus reached by the two sides on the adherence to the one-China principle, thus fundamentally negating the fact that the two sides of the Straits belong to the same country.


Their true motive is to presuppose a national split and Taiwan independence, and to erect obstacles to negotiations, he said.


As long as the two sides, in the context of the one-China principle, negotiate and reach an agreement on officially ending the state of hostility, tensions in the Taiwan Straits could be eased, and the steady growth of the cross-Straits relations could be guaranteed, he said, adding that this is the most practical and most effective way to maintain Taiwan's security and ensure peace and stability across the Straits.


Tang pointed out that "we hope to see an early realization of the 'three links' in a comprehensive, direct and reciprocal manner so as to break new ground for cross-Straits economic cooperation and bring greater benefits to the compatriots on both sides."


"We are positive about the establishment of an economic partnership mechanism and efforts to build closer economic relations between the two sides. We would like to hear the views and suggestions from the various circles in Taiwan in this regard", he continued.


He stressed that "we will continue to implement the policy of 'placing our hope on the Taiwan people', and work hard and persistently to promote peaceful reunification and common development by uniting with the Taiwan compatriots. We shall earnestly protect the interests of the Taiwan compatriots, address their concerns as if they are our own and do everything possible to help the Taiwan compatriots with their problems."


"We treat all Taiwan compatriots equally, regardless of their provincial origins. We do not discriminate against those who are adopting a wait-and-see, a suspicious, or even a negative or antagonistic attitude toward closer cross-Straits relations, as we are ready to have contact and interaction with them for increased understanding and greater identity of views," he said. "As long as one does not cling tenaciously to the 'Taiwan independence' position, we will exchange views with him and work for greater mutual trust through better communications."


The forum was also attended by Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and Liu Qi, secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Beijing Municipal Committee, among others.


(Xinhua News Agency January 19, 2004)

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