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Cross-Straits relations witness 'significant', 'positive' turn
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China said on Tuesday the situation across the Taiwan Straits had taken a "significant" and "positive" turn.

Spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense Hu Changming made the remarks at a press briefing introducing a white paper on China's National Defense in 2008 issued on Tuesday.

He said China has limited deployment of the PLA forces (at the Taiwan Straits) based on the national fundamental security interests. The country would make adjustment of the deployment in accordance with the development of cross-Straits relations.

"Currently cross-Straits relations had moved forward along a peaceful development track," said the spokesman. The great achievements of China's reform and opening-up as well as the national modernization drive, had offered solid foundation and reliable guarantee for the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, he added.

The Taiwan issue concerns China's fundamental and core interests, Hu said, adding that to realize national unification and safeguard national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity were a sacred task and mission for the Chinese PLA.

According to the white paper, the attempts of the separatist forces for "Taiwan independence" to seek "de jure Taiwan independence" have been thwarted, and the situation across the Taiwan Straits has taken a significantly positive turn.

"On the common political basis of '1992 Consensus', the two sides have resumed consultation and made progress," said Hu, adding the cross-Straits relations have been improved.

The two sides have resumed and made progress in consultations on the common political basis of the "1992 Consensus", and consequently cross-Straits relations have improved, the white paper says.

Ties between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan have warmed since the Kuomintang won the leader's election and returned to power in March 2008.

President Hu Jintao offered six proposals to promote the peaceful development of the cross-Straits relationship in a speech on Dec. 31 of 2008 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the mainland's "Message to Compatriots in Taiwan" here on Wednesday.

His speech came after the mainland and Taiwan realized historical direct links of transport, trade and post services.

Hu said the mainland is willing to discuss with Taiwan proper and reasonable arrangements for Taiwan's participation in international organizations, as long as this does not create a scenario of "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan".

Hu proposed that the two sides end hostility and reach peaceful agreements under the one China principle. He also suggested the two sides to step up contacts and exchanges on military issues "at an appropriate time" and talk about a military security mechanism of mutual trust, in a bid to stabilize cross-Straits relations and ease concerns about military security.

(Xinhua News Agency January 20, 2009)

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