The attempts of "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces to deny the reality that the mainland and Taiwan belong to one and the same China and to undermine peace in the Taiwan Straits are doomed to fail, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said here Wednesday.
Wen made the remarks while delivering a report on the work of his cabinet at the opening meeting of the annual full session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature.
"We firmly oppose 'Taiwan independence' secessionist activities, and will never allow anyone to separate Taiwan from the motherland in any guise or by any means," Wen said, winning applauses from nearly 3,000 national legislators and more than 2,000 political advisors in the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing.
"Any issue that concerns China's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be decided by all the Chinese people, including our Taiwan compatriots," he said.
The premier pledged that the mainland will pursue the goal of promoting peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, encourage compatriots on both sides to increase contacts and common understanding, actively promote cross-Straits economic and cultural exchanges, and work for the resumption of direct links of mail, transport and trade.
"We will implement and improve the policies and measures designed to benefit our compatriots in Taiwan and support economic development on the west coast of the Straits in Fujian Province and in other areas where Taiwan investment is concentrated," Wen said.
"We will work for the early resumption of cross-Straits negotiations on the basis of the one-China principle to address major issues of concern to compatriots on both sides," he added.
Chen Zhengtong, an NPC deputy, spoke highly of Wen's report on Wednesday.
"In my view, it will dispel misunderstanding and enhance mutual trust if the mainland and Taiwan can further promote cross-Straits economic and cultural exchanges," said Chen, of the Fujian Provincial Research Institute of Culture and History.
"So long as the Taiwan compatriots have more contacts with the mainland, see with their own eyes the rapid development of the mainland and the goodwill released by the mainland, then they will not be deluded by the 'Taiwan independence' forces," he said.
The opinion was echoed by legislator Shi Yongxin, abbot of the famous Shaolin Temple in central China's Henan Province, the holy place for Kung-fu fans worldwide.
"In the year 2008, I hope the mainland and Taiwan can carry out more exchanges in Buddhism circle," the monk said.
(Xinhua News Agency March 5, 2008)