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Speech reveals desire for cross-Strait peace
China Daily  Updated: 2005-03-06 08:30

President Hu Jintao made an important speech on relations across the Taiwan Straits on Friday, setting forth a four-point guideline for cross-Straits relations. The following are excerpts of comments on Hu's speech from members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and Chinese scholars.

Li Ganliu, vice-chairman of the 10th Central Committee of the Revolutionary Committee of Chinese Kuomintang:

As long as the Taiwan authorities recognize the "1992 Consensus," we will have a basis for cross-Straits dialogue, negotiation, exchanges and communication.

Hu's speech has fully demonstrated the Chinese people's heart-felt desire for peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits, their utmost sincerity to realize the peaceful reunification of the motherland and their firm determination to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Wu Guozhen, vice-chairman of the seventh Central Committee of the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League:

I was most impressed with President Hu's solemn commitment to the broad masses of the Taiwan compatriots. The speech fully demonstrates the care and love for the Taiwan compatriots from the Chinese mainland's side. The Taiwan authorities should make active responses and make the right choice in cross-Straits relations.

Hu said in his speech that China is the home to the 1.3 billion people in the mainland and the 23 million compatriots in Taiwan. Hu's speech contains some fresh suggestions and proposals that are both realistic and practical.

Xu Bodong, director of the Taiwan Institute of Beijing Union University:

The four-point guideline put forward by President Hu fully demonstrates the Chinese mainland's sincerity to maintain the stability and development of cross-Straits relations. Compared with the previous talks on the Taiwan question, the guideline shows fresh suggestions and profound meanings.

In March 2003, when President Hu attended the panel discussion of the Taiwan delegation on the first session of the 10th National People's Congress, he expressed his four suggestions on how to deal with cross-Straits relations.

The suggestions included: the one-China principle should be adhered to; the exchanges of economy and culture across the Taiwan Straits should be strengthened; the principle of placing hope on the Taiwan compatriots should be followed; and compatriots across the Taiwan Straits should be united to realize the revitalization of their motherland.

The four-point guideline on relations across the Straits put forward by Hu on Friday is: never sway in adhering to the one-China principle; never give up efforts to seek peaceful reunification; never change the principle of placing hope on Taiwan compatriots; and never compromise in opposing the "Taiwan independence" separatist activities.

The new guideline with the "four nevers" shows a more resolute attitude. It is more systematic, complete, prudent, practical and clearly-targeted. As the latest policy from the leadership in the mainland on current cross-Straits relations, the guideline, to some degree, also explains the reason to draw up the anti-secession law.

Through the guideline, the mainland shows its sincerity on developing cross-Straits relations. As President Hu said "as long as there is still a ray of hope for peaceful reunification, we'll do our utmost to achieve it. Anything beneficial to the Taiwan compatriots and conducive to the promotion of cross-Straits exchanges...we will do it with our utmost efforts and will do it well."

The point that attracted my attention most in President Hu's talk was "we welcome the efforts made by any individuals or any political parties in Taiwan toward the direction of recognizing the one-China principle."

I believe these words reflect Beijing's attitude towards the meeting between Chen Shui-bian and James Soong, chairman of the opposition People's First Party on February 24.

When President Hu stressed that the mainland will not compromise when the "Taiwan independence" forces take action, he also said that "we hope the leader of the Taiwan authorities could earnestly fulfill 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'."

These words express the mainland's more pragmatic and flexible attitude towards the Taiwan question and indicate the possibility of further development of cross-Straits relations, under the condition of the one-China principle.

The anti-secession law is a law of peace, targeting "Taiwan independence" forces, but not Taiwan compatriots. As Hu said, at present, some "new and positive" factors that are conducive to checking the "Taiwan independence" activities have emerged in cross-Straits relations and the tense situation across the Straits has developed "certain signs of relaxation." However, "the struggle against 'Taiwan independence' forces and their activities is hard and complex," Hu said.

That is the clear reply to the question put forward by some people - why must China work out the anti-secession law.

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