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May 17 Statement Was Not Ultimatum

The statement issued on Monday by the Taiwan Work Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council on current relations across the Taiwan Straits is not an ultimatum, said Director Yu Keli of the Institute of Taiwan Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing Tuesday.

"But this does not mean the Chinese government and people hold a vague stance on safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said.

Chen Shui-bian, to be inaugurated on May 20, has moved to the brink of "Taiwan independence," so it is necessary to send solemn warning signals to him, said Yu.

"Cross-Straits relations are in a crucial period," said Xu Bodong, of Beijing Union University. Xu stated that Chen's referendum plan for a new "constitution" and implementation of a "Taiwan independence" timetable increase strain on cross-Straits relations.

The May 17 statement sent warnings to Chen and other "Taiwan independence" separatists, and aimed to let the United States and the international society see clearly the fact that Chen is a troublemaker and threatens cross-Straits peace, he said.

Only along the seven lines proposed in the statement can the cross-Straits relations hold out a bright prospect of peace, stability and development, he said. The statement itself demonstrates the mainland's consistent stance and policies toward Taiwan as well as its sincerity in pushing forward cross-Straits relations.

It is necessary to make the cross-Straits situation clear to all Chinese and international society, said Guo Zhenyuan, of the Institute of International Studies. Guo warned that if the Taiwan authorities dare to play with fire, they will get burnt themselves.

(Xinhua News Agency May 19, 2004)

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