Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), said on Sunday that adhering to the "1992 consensus" is an essential foundation for peace and development across the Taiwan Straits.
The "1992 consensus" refers to the common belief that both the mainland and Taiwan belong to the one China.
At a meeting with Honorary Chairman Lien Chan of the Taiwan-based Kuomintang (KMT) party, Hu said that though China is not yet reunified the fact that both the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China has not changed and the bonds of flesh and blood between compatriots on both sides of the straits remain the same.
He recalled that 14 years ago it was based on the above-mentioned common understanding and the wish to seek common ground while setting differences aside had led to the "1992 consensus". This in turn resulted in the "Wang-Koo Talks" of 1993.
The "Wang-Koo Talks" was a landmark meeting in 1993 between Wang Daohan, president of the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Koo Chen-fu, chairman of the Taiwan-based Strait Exchange Foundation (SEF), in Singapore in April 1993. It was the first ever high-level, non-governmental talks across the Taiwan Straits.
"It was based on such a consensus that the CPC and KMT published a series of measures last year for peace across the Straits for the benefit of the people on both sides," Hu said.
He said the reason that cross-Straits relations encountered setbacks in recent years was that some people denied the "1992 consensus" and attempted to destroy the status quo that both the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China.
Facts have shown that only by adhering to the "1992 consensus" could both sides of the Straits secure peace, development and common prosperity. Only the rejection of "Taiwan independence" could remove the major threat to the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, Hu added.
In a further comment on boosting cross-Straits relations Hu said, "It's the ultimate goal to seek benefits for the people across the Taiwan Straits when we are working for peaceful development in cross-Strait relations."
A leader and a political party should always put the interests of people first, he said.
He pointed out that on several occasions he had said the mainland would take seriously everything that concerns the interests of the Taiwan compatriots and seriously follow through on all the commitments made to them.
"I'd like to take the opportunity to repeat solemnly that we will faithfully carry out all the commitments we have made to the Taiwan compatriots," he said.
Hu added that a mutually complementary and beneficial relationship was the effective way for realizing peaceful development across the Straits.
The successful, non-governmental cooperation across the Straits over the past 20 years had resulted in a mutually complementary and beneficial situation in general, he noted. Under such circumstances the interests of the compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits had been closely related.
Deepening cross-Straits trade and economic cooperation was a major issue that concerned the future of development and the benefits for people on both sides, he said.
Referring to the so-called "marginalization" of Taiwan, Hu said, the key was that some people in Taiwan should not "marginalize themselves."
"We will take active measures to realize the 'three direct links' (in mail, transport and trade) at an early date, strengthen cross-Straits agricultural cooperation and educational exchanges, create conditions for mainland residents to travel in Taiwan as early as possible and provide more job opportunities for our Taiwan compatriots."
Hu added that consultation was the only way to achieve peaceful development of cross-Straits relations. "We maintain that both sides of the Taiwan Straits should be far-sighted and constructive in their dialog and negotiations to resolve their disputes and problems," he said.
Hu recalled the consensus he reached with Lien in their first meeting last year, and said, "We (the CPC and KMT) should make joint efforts to re-open consultation across the Straits on the basis of the '1992 consensus' as soon as possible.
"As long as we begin consultations we can discuss all issues that our Taiwan compatriots care about in a practical manner so as to open up ways for peaceful development across the Straits," Hu said.
(Xinhua News Agency April 17, 2006)