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Review of Cross-Strait Relations in 2000

Cross-Strait relationship in 2000 has attracted people's attention. On the whole, cross-Strait relationship continues to be tense, the deadlock has not been broken. Opposing "Taiwan independence" and promoting reunification has become the common voice of the Chinese people at home and abroad.

The words and deeds of the leader of Taiwan authorities to evade and blur the one-China principle have been opposed by the opposition parties and more and more Taiwan compatriots on the island, the sustained and rapid development of cross-Strait economic and trade cooperation, and exchanges and personnel contacts have become an important force curbing "Taiwan independence", the voice of various social circles in Taiwan demanding that the Taiwan authorities accept the one-China principle and improve and develop cross-Strait ties has become ever louder.

Whether or not the leader of the Taiwan authorities will acknowledge the one-China principle and whether he has the sincerity to improve cross-Strait relationship has aroused the deep concern of the Chinese at home and abroad.

On March 18, the Office of the Taiwan Work of the CPC Central Committee and the Office of Taiwan Affairs of the State Council issued a statement, saying that with regard to the leader of the Taiwan authorities, we will "hear his words and look at his conduct".

On March 20, President Jiang Zemin, in meeting with foreign guests, pointed out: No matter who is in power in Taiwan, we welcome him to come to the mainland for talks, at the same time, we may also go to Taiwan. But there is a foundation for dialogs and negotiations, that is, in the first place, he must accept the one-China principle. On this premise, any matter can be discussed."

On May 20, the Office of Taiwan Work under the CPC Central Committee and the Office of Taiwan Affairs of the State Council were authorized to declare: "At present, so long as the Taiwan authorities explicitly promise not to create the "two-states theory", and clearly promise to stick to the consensus reached between the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) on "both sides of the Straits uphold the one-China principle" expressed respectively in words of mouth in 1992, we are willing to authorize the ARATS and the group or personages authorized by the Taiwan side to contact and conduct dialogs. "The mainland of the motherland once again gave the new leader of Taiwan an opportunity to improve cross-Strait relations.

However, in his inaugural speech, although the leader of the Taiwan authorities indicated that he would not "promote the inclusion of the 'two-states theory' into the constitution, not declare Taiwan independence and not push a referendum on reunification or independence", as well as that "there is not the question of doing away with the national reunification council and the national reunification program", but so far he is still trying his utmost to evade the one-China principle, refuses to admit that he is a Chinese, keeps on saying that "Taiwan is an independent sovereign state", "reunification is not the only choice", denies the 1992 consensus" reached between the ARATS and the SEF, clings to the "no haste, be patient" policy, obstructs cross-Strait exchanges and continues to launch the activity of so-called "Taiwan joining the United Nations", demonstrating that the leader of the Taiwan authorities has no sincerity to relax and improve cross-Strait relations, this is the fundamental reason explaining why the deadlock between the two sides is hard to be broken.

The words and deeds of the leader of the Taiwan authorities make it impossible to mitigate people's misgivings about his creation of "Taiwan independence" and his following the "Lee Teng-hui's line without a Lee Teng-hui". Some other chieftains of the Taiwan authorities have further openly turned themselves into one of the sources of tension in cross-Strait relations and political and economic turbulence on the island with their "Taiwan independence" words and deeds.

Annette Lu echoes with the extreme "Taiwan independence" forces in the island, dishing out separatist fallacies, such as so-called the two banks of the Straits are "distant relatives and near neighbors", "acknowledging one China is tantamount to surrender", "not talking about the 'two-states theory' is not tantamount to its non-existence". The "Jianguo Party" has even staged the farce, the "provisional government of the republic of Taiwan".

Their perverse action was naturally given a head-on blow by the Chinese at home and abroad, and increasingly found no audience on the island. As the plot of the Taiwan authorities for "joining the United Nations" was again foiled, the one-China principle has again been confirmed by the international community. Overseas Chinese and foreigners of Chinese origin have vied to hold gigantic activities against "Taiwan independence" and for reunification, a new situation featuring unity of Chinese at home and abroad to oppose "Taiwan independence" and separation and to bring about an early reunification of the motherland is taking shape.

When the cross-Strait political relations face tension and confrontation, the mainland of the motherland has, as always, adopted active measures to promote cross-Strait exchanges and economic relations.

Party and State leaders have time and again reaffirmed adherence to the basic principles of "peaceful reunification, one China, two systems" and President Jiang Zemin's eight-point proposal, continued to vigorously develop economic cooperation, to promote an early realization of direct "three exchanges" (exchange of mails, trade, and air and shipping services) between the two sides of the Straits, they have welcomed various parties, organizations and personages in Taiwan to come for visits and for exchanges of opinions on common struggle against "Taiwan independence" on development of cross-Strait ties, promotion of the process of peaceful reunification and enhancement of common understanding. Between July and August, the ARATS successively invited Taiwan's New Party, Kuomintang and People First Party to organize delegations to come for visit and for holding formal exchange of opinions on questions relating to present cross-Strait relations, and on this basis, re-conduct dialogs with them on adhering to the (1992 consensus" reached between the two institutions.

Unanimous opinion was reached on such aspects as strengthening cross-Strait economic cooperation, personnel contact and exchanges and promoting direct, cross-strait "three exchanges".

On November 11, the Kuomintang, the People First Party and the new Party published a common statement, indicating their firm stand for return to the "1992 consensus", resume cross-Strait consultation on an equal footing as quickly as possible, call on the Taiwan authorities to convene the national reunification council meeting at the earliest possible date, immediately promote consultations on cross-Strait "three exchanges" and actively readjust the policy of "no haste, be patient".

"Returning to the one-China principle, returning to the '92 consensus', easing and improving cross-Strait relations" has become the principal political forces on the island, and the common voice of far-sighted personages, public opinion and the general public of Taiwan.

Over the past year, cross-Strait exchanges have continued to develop. From January to November, more than 2.14 million Taiwan people/time came to the mainland, and over 60,000 mainlanders/time went to Taiwan, of whom, 11,962 persons/time went there for 1,598 exchange projects.

Cross-Strait exchanges grew at a two-digit rate. In the first 10 months of this year, Taiwan businessmen invested in 2,418 projects on the mainland with the actual amount of investment reaching US$1.746 billion; the total amount of indirect cross-Strait trade came to US$24.992 billion, up by 33.2 percent over last year.

Cross-Strait women held the Second Cross-Strait Women Development Exchange Seminar in Beijing, Vice-President Hu Jintao paid great attention to the meeting, and personally received the Taiwan women delegates and delivered an important speech; several thousand Taiwan groups have come to Meizhou Mazu Temple in Fujian to burn incense there; hundreds of Taiwan groups have attended the World Hakkas Meeting in Longyan of Fujian Province; vice-chairman of the Kuomintang Wu Po-hsiong came to the mainland for visit for the first time and was met by Qian Qichen, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Wang Daohan, president of the ARATS; correspondents of both sides of the Straits formed into groups to cover news in Tibet; youths of the two sides held large-scale moon-festival get-together separately in Beijing and Dalian to jointly spend the merry eve's festival and talk freely about reunification of the motherland; the "Chinese minority ethnic folk art fair" held by the Chinese folk art troupe composed of 230 people from 55 mainland minority ethnic groups was warmly received in Taiwan; the grand exhibition of Xi'an terra-cotta warriors and horses held for the first time in Taiwan made a great stir; Cross-Strait Kunqu opera troupes staged a large-scale joint performance in Taiwan; officials of civil aviation administrative departments in various localities of the mainland organized a delegation for the first time to visit Taiwan…

All these are great events concerning cross-Strait exchanges this year, and will become new chapters in the history of exchanges between compatriots of both sides of the Straits.

The 20th century will soon be over, the new millennium has already come. Chinese history has lasted several thousand years, separation is invariably only temporary, reunification always represents the mainstream. The Chinese people have regarded accomplishment of the reunification of the motherland as one of their three major tasks in the new century. Popular feeling is not to be bullied, and the trend is irresistible, with the common efforts of the entire Chinese people, including the Taiwan compatriots, cross-Strait relations will eventually overcome various unfavorable factors to advance in the direction conducive to reunification and bring about an early complete reunification of the motherland.

(People’s Daily 12/28/2000)

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