Home>News Center>China

Chen's speech a grave provocation to peace
(China Daily HK Edition/Xinhua)
Updated: 2004-10-13 10:08

A spokesperson for China's central authorities said in Beijing Wednesday that Taiwan regional leader Chen Shui-bian's speech on October 10 has constituted a grave provocation to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

Zhang Mingqing, spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said Chen Shui-bian's speech on October 10 constitutes to a grave provocation to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait at a press conference Wednesday morning in Beijing. Chen solicits a question in this November 26, 2003 file photo at a press conference in Beijing. [newsphoto]
"In his speech, Chen Shui-bian preached that 'The Republic of China is Taiwan and Taiwan is the Republic of China', which was an open and audacious expression of 'Taiwan independence'," said Zhang Mingqing, spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, China's cabinet, at a press conference Wednesday morning.

Although Chen claimed in his Oct. 10 speech that he had the intention to ease tension and confrontation across the Taiwan Strait, he had obstinately stuck to his separatist stand of "one country on each side" across the Strait, the spokesman said.

Moreover, Chen had continued to deny the fact that Taiwan is a part of China and had wantonly stigmatized and viciously attacked the motherland to fuel the tension across the Strait.

"He had exposed his lies by himself," the spokesman said.

Zhang said the "one-China" principle is the precondition for the resumption of talks and dialogue across the Taiwan Strait, and the central government's stance on cross-strait dialogue and negotiations remains unchanged.

The Association for Relations Across Taiwan Straits (ARATS) of the mainland and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) of Taiwan reached the consensus in 1992 that "both sides across the Taiwan Strait stick to the 'one-China' principle", though each side may have their own interpretations, said the spokesman.

"We have repeatedly called for an early resumption of dialogue and talks across the Strait on the basis of the 'one-China' principle," he stressed.

"As long as the Taiwan authorities accept the 1992 Consensus, the dialogue and talks between the two sides can resume immediately," he added.

Chen's appeal for talks nothing but word games

Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian's suggestion to base future cross-Straits talks on the results of the 1992 Meeting was nothing other than word-play as well as a gesture that aimed to create the illusion that a renewed dialogue was still possible. This was the main idea of a signed article published in Ta Kung Pao yesterday. It was written by Sze Cheung-pang, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Excerpts follow:

Several days before delivering his speech on October 10, Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian invited world attention over his speech which, he hinted, would have positive and constructive implications on and contributions towards the improvement of cross-Straits relations and Sino-US ties as well as world peace.

One of Chen's major announcements, which was considered to be something new in his speech, was his suggestion for Taiwan and the mainland to use the 1992 Hong Kong Meeting as a basis to map out a "less-than-perfect but acceptable plan" as a preparation for further consultation and talks.

As we all know, the mainland has hoped that the island administration's stance could return to the 1992 Consensus so that negotiations could resume.

Chen's promise to base future talks on the 1992 Meeting has, therefore, given some people hope, and some pundits feel that Chen has at least created some leeway in a relatively ambiguous way.

The crucial question is whether Chen's proposal means he is really willing to return to the 1992 Consensus or whether there is at least such a possibility. The answer is negative.

When they held talks in Hong Kong in 1992, the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) of Taipei arrived at the consensus of "One country, different interpretations". In the eight-point proposal that SEF put forward to ARATS, it was explicitly suggested that "both sides should insist on the principle of one-China" and "the two governments across the Straits should strive for national unification". ARATS' five-point proposal also incorporated this consensus.

The Chen administration, however, has ignored historical facts and consistently denied the existence of the 1992 Consensus.

On July 31, 2000, at his second press conference after assuming office, Chen referred specifically to the talks that took place in Hong Kong in 1992. He denied that the two sides had arrived at a "one China" consensus during the meeting. He said there was instead a 1992 Spirit, which, according to his fabrication, was "dialogues, exchange, and putting aside disputes".

In his speech on October 10, 2000, Chen proposed to use the "1992 Spirit" as the basis for resumption of talks with the mainland, a suggestion that was naturally rejected by Beijing. Mainstream opinion on the island and those of insight pointed out at that time that Chen was playing with words in order to neutralize the 1992 Consensus and avoid the "one China" principle, an indication that he had no sincerity in bettering ties with the mainland.

Chen's other major declaration in his October 10 speech over the cross-Straits issue was that "the Republic of China (ROC) is Taiwan, and Taiwan is ROC". Lee Teng-hui once said that "ROC is in Taiwan". Chen took one step further with his unprecedented remarks on October 10, showing that the separatists are moving closer than ever to the baseline of "Taiwan separatism".

Lee and Chen were in the process of drawing up a "constitution" for an independent Taiwan, and Chen's declarations were to build up public opinion for this purpose. All these points foretell that the possibility of a breakthrough in their cause of Taiwan independence has become increasingly high.

If we take a closer look at Chen's speech on October 10, we can see that except for the mention of "ROC" in the beginning and the end parts, the entire speech was permeated with the theme of "de-sinoization". This has proven the island media's prediction that October 10 this year would be a "National Day without ROC".

Backgrounder: "1992 Consensus" 

The "1992 Consensus", on the "one-China" principle and its respective verbal wording of both sides, was reached in a meeting in November 1992 held in Hong Kong by the Association for Relations Across Taiwan Straits (ARATS) of the mainland, headed by Wang Daohan, and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) of Taiwan, led by Koo Chen-fu. The consensus is that "both sides of the (Taiwan) Straits adhere to the 'one-China' principle" and orally explain the principle respectively.

As exchanges in trade, economy and other fields across the Taiwan Strait have kept increasing since late 1987, the Taiwan authorities adjusted its policy of "no contact, no concession and no negotiation" and set up SEF to contact and negotiate with the Chinese mainland over problems occurred. The Chinese mainland agreed to hold negotiations by setting up ARATS in December 1991 to promote exchanges across the Straits.

At the start of negotiations about affairs concerning both sides of the Taiwan Straits, ARATS put forward that it was necessary to persist in the "one-China" principle in negotiations and agreements, though the political content may not be discussed as long as the "one-China" stand is advocated, and the ways to express "one-China" could be fully discussed.

The "national reunification committee" in Taiwan also reached aconclusion about the content of "one-China" in August 1992.

From Oct. 28 to 30, 1992, the ARATS and SEF held negotiations over the use of notarized documents across the Strait in Hong Kong,and each side proposed five definitions about the ways to express the issue of adherence to the "one-China" principle, but failed to reach a consensus.

SEF representative soon suggested that both sides could state their stands orally and added three other oral expressions, and ARATS were asked to take down the verbal expressions about the "one-China" stand tabled by the SEF.

On Nov. 3, SEF informed ARATS of the oral expression about "one-China" it tabled being approved by the relevant leading departmentin Taiwan. ARATS agreed to the SEF's suggestion of stating the "one-China" attitude based on their respective oral explanations ina letter sent to the SEF on Nov. 16, but emphasizing both sides of the Straits persist in the "one-China" principle and work had to pursue reunification, without talking about the political meaning of one China in negotiations of affairs concerning both sides of the Straits. The SEF showed no disagreement in its letter of replyto ARATS on Dec. 3.

A Summary of the Wang-Koo Talks published by the SEF in August 1993 stated that the consensus reached by ARATS and SEF were quite clear: both sides had worked hard to seek common points while reserving differences in explaining the political content of one China.

  Today's Top News     Top China News

Chen's speech a grave provocation to peace



China to lobby for 4th round six-party talks



Further negotiations needed to free engineers



Tax revenue growth slows down



China to amend Criminal Procedure Law



US urged to abide by one-China principle


  US urged to abide by one-China principle
  Spokesman hits Chen on provocative speech
  Nation acts to resolve nutrition deficiency
  Pakistan seek release of China hostages
  Chinese ancestors came from Red Sea area?
  Office romance popular, risky
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  Related Stories  
Experts: Chen's call for talks is vague
US urged to abide by one-China principle
Taipei's provocative actions condemned
China to work towards peaceful reunification
China condemns US arms sales to Taiwan
  News Talk  
  It is time to prepare for Beijing - 2008