Taiwan urged to back '1992 Consensus'
Taiwan affairs officials yesterday urged Taiwan authorities to recognize the "1992 Consensus" as a step to solving the major problem in cross-Straits relations.
"The current problem in cross-Straits relations lies in the fact that the Taiwan authorities do not recognize the one-China principle and deny the 1992 Consensus," said a spokesman at the cabinet-level Taiwan Affairs Office, who asked his name not be used.
The spokesman made the remarks yesterday when commenting on Thursday meetings held between Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian and James Soong, chairman of the Taiwan opposition People First Party (PFP).
Chen and Soong released a joint statement after their meeting, which included a 10-point agreement.
Chen promised "not to declare independence, to change the name of the country's official name... to promote a referendum on independence or reunification which will alter the (cross-Straits) status quo."
They also agreed that the "constitutional reforms" Chen is pushing for will not touch on the "state sovereignty."
"We hope the Taiwan authorities will return to recognizing the '1992 Consensus,' take some practical measures to stop separatist activities and push cross-Straits ties so as to bring benefits to compatriots of the two sides," the spokesman told reporters.
The spokesman reiterated the mainland's one-China stance and said that keeping the peace and stability of cross-Straits relations and taking gradual steps to achieve reunification of the sides is "our basic goal and direction" for dealing with the relationship.
"We have confidence, sincerity and patience to increase communication and
mutual understanding with our Taiwan compatriots through enhancing exchanges and
promoting co-operation," he said.
Former US President Clinton, visiting Taiwan despite of a warning from Beijing, urged Taiwan and the mainland Sunday to set aside their differences and work closer together economically.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said last week that Clinton, as former president, should be familiar with "China's solemn position on the Taiwan question."
Though this was Clinton's first trip to Taiwan since being elected president in 1992, he visited the island four times as Arkansas governor and many Taiwanese are fond of him. Listeners packed an auditorium in Taipei on Sunday to hear him.
The former U.S. president said Taiwanese investors in the mainland were giving hope to Chinese workers and could help reduce the possibility of a conflict between the two sides.
"While our differences are important, our common humanity matters more," Clinton said. "The more people have positive things to do, the less likely they are to fall into destructive patterns."
Clinton arrived in Taiwan from Japan. He earlier visited China after touring areas in southern Asia ravaged by the Dec. 26 tsunami.