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Hu urges peaceful reunification
By Xing Zhigang (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-03-05 02:10

President Hu Jintao yesterday called for the greatest efforts to seek peaceful reunification of the motherland while pledging to make no compromise in opposing "Taiwan independence" secessionist activities.

He said a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan issue is in the fundamental interests of compatriots across the Taiwan Straits and the Chinese nation and conforms to the currents of peace and development in the world today.

"As long as there is still a ray of hope for peaceful reunification, we'll do our utmost to achieve it," the top leader was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying at a panel discussion of CPPCC (Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference) members representing the Taiwan region yesterday afternoon.

The 2,000-member-strong National Committee of the CPPCC, China's top political advisory body, is holding its annual full session in Beijing.

During his speech, the president put forth his guidelines on the development of cross-Straits ties "under the new circumstances."

Despite his vow to seek peaceful reunification with the utmost sincerity, Hu said the Chinese people would never tolerate "Taiwan independence" and never allow the "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces to secede the island from the motherland under any name or means.

"Safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity is where a country's core interest lies. On no account shall the 1.3 billion Chinese people allow anyone to undermine China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," he stressed.

"We will not falter, have the slightest hesitation or make concessions on the major principle issue of opposing secession."

The president's remarks come as the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, prepares to review an anti-secession law, which among other things, is aimed at opposing and checking Taiwan's secession from China by secessionists in the name of "Taiwan independence."

Hu accused the Taiwan authorities of engaging in the pursuit of "creeping independence" by means of "rectification of Taiwan's name" and "desinofication".

The "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces and their activities have increasingly become the "biggest obstacle for the development of cross-Straits relations" and the "biggest real threat to peace and stability in the region around the Taiwan Straits," he added.

The president urged Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian to earnestly adhere to the "Five No's" commitment he reaffirmed on February 24, as well as his commitment of not seeking "legalization of Taiwan independence" through the "constitutional reform."

Hu was apparently commenting on a 10-point agreement reached at a meeting between Chen and James Soong, chairman of the opposition People's First Party.

During the meeting, Chen reiterated the "Five No's" commitment he made during his inaugural speech in 2000.

The commitment requires the island to refrain from declaring independence; changing the "national title"; including the concept of "state-to-state" relations between the island and the mainland in its "constitution"; and promoting any referendum on changing the status quo on "independence."

Hu also emphasized that China is home to 1.3 billion Chinese people including 23 million Taiwan compatriots; and both the mainland and Taiwan belong to the 1.3 billion Chinese people including the 23 million Taiwan compatriots.

"Any issue involving China's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be decided collectively by the entire 1.3 billion Chinese people," Hu noted.

The president described the one-China principle as the cornerstone for developing cross-Straits relations and realizing peaceful reunification of the motherland.

Although the mainland and Taiwan are not yet reunified, the fact that the two sides belong to one and the same China has remained unchanged since 1949. "This is the status quo of cross-Straits relations," said Hu.

He said cross-Straits dialogue can be resumed immediately, and can be held on whatever topic or issue, as long as the Taiwan authorities acknowledge the "1992 Consensus."

The consensus refers to an informal agreement, reached orally between Taiwan and the mainland in November 1992, that both sides should adhere to the one-China principle but with their different explainations.

While strongly warning against secessionist forces, Hu underscored the principle of placing hope on the Taiwan people and closely uniting with them.

"Anything beneficial to the Taiwan compatriots and conducive to the promotion of cross-Straits exchanges... we will do with our utmost efforts and will do it well," pledged Hu. "This is our solemn commitment to the broad masses of Taiwan compatriots."

(China Daily 03/05/2005 page1)

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