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Parties pledge to combat 'Taiwan independence'
By Xing Zhigang (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-05-12 00:43

A senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) yesterday called for a joint fight against "Taiwan independence" to ensure peace and development across the Taiwan Straits.

Vice President Zeng Qinghong(R) talks with James Soong, Chairman of the People First Party(PFP) from Taiwan, at the Great Hall of People in Beijing May 11, 2005. [Xinhua]

Zeng Qinghong, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks during his meeting with Chairman of the People First Party (PFP) James Soong.

Zeng said compatriots across the Straits were blood brothers from one family and the mainland was ready to join Taiwan compatriots to strive for a bright future of bilateral ties.

But he said that secessionist forces on the island and their rampant secessionist activities had severely threatened peace and stability across the Straits.

Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian of the pro-"independence" Democratic Progressive Party has been pushing for de jure "independence" since he came to power in May 2000.

Following his disputed re-election in 2004, Chen has stated time and again his intention to draft a "constitution" in 2006 and enact the document in 2008.

Chen's moves are widely considered steps tantamount to moving the island towards a declaration of formal "independence" even though the mainland passed the Anti-Secession Law in March to prevent such an eventuality.

"Only through resolutely opposing and checking 'Taiwan independence' can cross-Straits relations see peace and development," Zeng told Soong and his 50-member delegation in the Great Hall of the People.

"The fight against secessionist activities should be the most important work for safeguarding cross-Straits peace and stability as well as the immediate interests of compatriots on both sides."

He said the mainland and Taiwan should strengthen economic, cultural and personnel exchanges to form a stronger resistance to "Taiwan independence."

James Soong, chairman of the People First Party in Taiwan, delivers a speech at Tsinghua University in Beijing May 11, 2005. He is scheduled to have a historic meeting with Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CPC central committee on Thursday. [newsphoto]

The senior official spoke highly of the PFP's consistent adherence to the one-China principle, its endorsement of the "1992 consensus," and opposition to "Taiwan independence."

The "1992 consensus" refers to an informal agreement, reached orally between Taiwan and the mainland in November 1992, which states both sides adhere to the one-China principle.

Zeng said Soong and Lien had brought with them to the mainland the hopes of Taiwanese people for communication, peace, stability and development.

The extensive exchanges and dialogue between leaders of the CPC, KMT and PFP are aimed at bringing about peace, stability, and mutually beneficial co-operation between the two sides, Zeng added.

Soong stressed that his party would stand firm on its three basic positions.

Firstly, the PFP strongly opposes "Taiwan independence."

Secondly, the party upholds the "1992 consensus" and will strive for cross-Straits reconciliation on such a basis.

Thirdly, the PFP hopes to build a bridge of mutual trust across the Straits to meet the expectations of people on both sides for peace.

"What the people of both sides hope for is peace across the Taiwan Straits," Soong said.

(China Daily 05/12/2005 page1)

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