Jiang Zemin said in Beijing on November 8 that all issues concerning the question of Taiwan can be discussed on the premise of one-China principle.
Addressing the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Jiang Zemin appealed to the Taiwan authorities that "on the basis of the one-China principle, let us shelve for now certain political disputes and resume the cross-Straits dialogue and negotiations as soon as possible."
"We may discuss how to end the cross-Straits hostility formally. We may also discuss the international space in which the Taiwan region may conduct economic, cultural and social activities compatible with its status, or discuss the political status of the Taiwan authorities or other issues," Jiang said.
Adherence to the one-China principle is the basis for the development of cross-Straits relations and the realization of peaceful reunification, Jiang said.
"There is but one China in the world, and both the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China. China's sovereignty and territorial integrity brook no division," he said.
Jiang expressed firm opposition to all words and deeds aimed at creating "Taiwan independence," "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan," pointing out that the future of Taiwan lies in the reunification of the motherland.
"We are willing to exchange views with all political parties and personages of all circles in Taiwan on the development of cross-Straits relations and the promotion of peaceful reunification, and we place our hopes on the people in Taiwan for the settlement of the Taiwan question and the realization of the complete reunification of China," he said.
"We fully respect their life style and their wish to be the masters of our country," Jiang said. The two sides should expand mutual contacts and exchanges and work together to carry forward the fine tradition of the Chinese culture. As the direct links of mail, air and shipping services, and trade across the Taiwan Straits serve the common interests of the compatriots on both sides, there is every reason to take practical and positive steps to promote such direct links and open up new prospects for cross-Straits economic cooperation.
Jiang pointed out that "one country, two systems" is the best way for the reunification between the two sides. After its reunification with the mainland, Taiwan may keep its existing social system unchanged and enjoy a high degree of autonomy.
"Our Taiwan compatriots may keep their way of life unchanged, and their vital interests will be fully guaranteed, and they will enjoy a lasting peace," Jiang promised.
Taiwan may then truly rely on the mainland as its hinterland for economic growth and thus get broad space for development, and the Taiwan compatriots may join the people on the mainland in exercising the right to administer the country and sharing the dignity and honor of the great motherland in the international community, Jiang said.
"The 23 million Taiwan compatriots are our brothers and sisters of the same blood, for which no one is more eager than we are to resolve the Taiwan question through peaceful means," Jiang said.
He vowed to continue to implement the basic principles of "peaceful reunification" and "one country, two systems" and act on the eight-point proposal on developing cross-Straits relations and advancing the process of peaceful national reunification at the present stage.
"We will work in utmost sincerity and do all we can to strive for a peaceful reunification," he said.
"Our position of never undertaking to renounce the use of force is not directed at our Taiwan compatriots, but aimed at the foreign forces' attempts to interfere in China's reunification and the Taiwan separatist forces' schemes for 'Taiwan independence'," Jiang said.
"We Chinese people will safeguard our state sovereignty and territorial integrity with firm resolve, and will never allow anyone to separate Taiwan from China in any way," Jiang said.
China will be reunified, and the Chinese nation will be rejuvenated, he said, pointing out that the Taiwan question must not be allowed to drag on indefinitely.
"We are convinced that with the concerted efforts of all sons and daughters of the Chinese nation, the complete reunification of the motherland will be achieved at an early date," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency November 8, 2002)