By laying down the Chinese mainland's latest policy on the Taiwan question, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Hu Jintao extended a new olive branch to the island yesterday.
Delivering a landmark speech to the 17th National Congress of the CPC, Hu reiterated the stance of the Chinese mainland to push for peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.
Hu's speech drives home the message that the Chinese mainland will never give up its pursuit of a peaceful reunification with the island. This strong will to realize peaceful reunification of the motherland is based on the truth that the Chinese mainland has always been keen on bringing benefits to the greatest extent to people across the Straits.
Both sides of the Taiwan Straits belong to one and the same China and the people across the Straits are bonded by blood ties that will never be severed by any secessionist moves.
Despite the obstacles set by the Taiwan authorities, cross-Straits exchanges on economic, education and agriculture have been making headway thanks to the efforts of the Chinese mainland.
The successful stories of economic growth and social stability on the Chinese mainland have beefed up Taiwan compatriots' wish for closer cross-Straits political and economic links.
However, the intensified secessionist push orchestrated by the Taiwan authorities is putting this good momentum in jeopardy in total disregard of the common wish of the people across the Straits.
That the island's latest attempt to pursue United Nations membership under the name of Taiwan has failed in disgrace in September speaks volumes to the internationally recognized fact that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China.
In a warning to diehard secessionists, Hu stressed in his speech that the Chinese mainland will never compromise in its opposition to the secessionist activities aimed at "Taiwan independence".
He called for discussion with Taipei on a formal end to the state of hostility across the Straits and proposed reaching a peace agreement with Taipei under the condition of one-China principle.
"The mainland side is ready to conduct exchanges, dialogue, consultations and negotiations with any political party in Taiwan as long as it recognizes the one-China principle," he said.
Hu's tone-setting remarks should be a wake-up call to those in Taiwan who are still obsessed with the daydream of making the island secede from the motherland.
(China Daily 10/16/2007 page9)