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Year 2007 Crucial for Opposing 'Taiwan Independence'
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The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council on Wednesday said 2007 is a crucial period for opposing "Taiwan independence" and safeguarding peace across the Taiwan Straits.

Spokesman Yang Yi said at a press conference that cross-Straits relations would face severe challenges this year, as Taiwan authorities tried to seek "de jure independence" through the so-called "constitutional reform" which might enter into a "substantive" stage.

He said that resolutely curbing the "Taiwan independence" secessionist activities and safeguarding peace across the Taiwan Straits were still the most important and urgent tasks for compatriots across the Taiwan Straits.

"We will make the utmost efforts to seek peaceful reunification with maximum sincerity. We cannot tolerate 'Taiwan independence' and will not allow Taiwan to secede from China by any means," Yang said.

"We will continue to adhere to the basic principles of 'peaceful reunification' and 'one country, two systems', as well as the eight-point proposal by Jiang Zemin on the settlement of the Taiwan issue and the four-point guidelines on cross-Straits relations set forth by President Hu Jintao, widely unite Taiwan compatriots and build peaceful and stable cross-Straits relations in 2007," he said.

"We hope mainland tourists can travel to Taiwan as early as possible and new breakthroughs can be made in the 'three direct links' of direct mail, transport and trade across the Taiwan Straits this year," he said.

The mainland would continue to seek communication and dialogue with parties and organizations in Taiwan that opposed "Taiwan independence", acknowledged the "1992 Consensus" and advocated promotion of cross-Straits relations, he said.

"As long as the Taiwan authorities acknowledge the '1992 Consensus' which enshrined the one-China principle, the cross-Straits dialogue and negotiation can be restored. Dialogue and negotiations can touch on any topic. We have full confidence in the prospects for developing cross-Straits relations," said Yang.

Yang said cross-Straits relations developed in the direction of peace and stability in 2006 thanks to the common efforts of compatriots on both sides of the straits.

Compatriots across the Taiwan Straits had a deeper understanding of the threats of "Taiwan independence" secessionist activities in 2006. They strongly opposed and condemned the behavior of the "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces, which strained cross-Straits relations.

The compatriots across the Taiwan Straits also had deeper understanding of the bright prospects of the cross-Straits relations in 2006. They deepened mutual understanding and had more common interests, said Yang.

Cross-Straits personnel exchanges, economic and cultural communication and cooperation developed well in 2006, he said.

The indirect trade volume between the mainland and Taiwan hit a record US$100 billion in 2006

Taiwan residents made more than 4.4 million visits to the mainland and the figures for mainland visits to Taiwan was more than 200,000 in 2006.

(Xinhua News Agency January 17, 2007)

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