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Top advisory body begins annual session
Updated: 2006-03-03 16:29

China's top advisory body stressed its resolute stand against "Taiwan independence" and any secessionist activities as it opened its annual session in Beijing Friday.

Deputies arrive at the Great Hall of the People to attend the opening ceremony of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing, March 3, 2006.  [Xinhua]

"We will never tolerate 'Taiwan independence', and shall oppose and curb 'Taiwan independence' secessionist forces and activities, " said Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

Meanwhile, Jia also emphasized the mainland's sincere pursuit for peaceful development of the cross-Strait relations.

"We will adhere to the fundamental principles of peaceful reunification and 'one country, two systems,' and maintain and promote a peaceful and stable development of the cross-Strait relations with our utmost sincerity and greatest endeavors to strive for a prospect of peaceful reunification." Jia said during his keynote speech.

Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, delivers a speech at opening ceremony of the top Chinese political advisory body in Beijing, March 3, 2006. [Xinhua]

A CPPCC member from the military echoed Jia's remarks. Zhang Zhuo, a major general and former president of the PLA College of Ordnance Engineering, told reporters before the opening meeting that the army will never tolerate Taiwan independence.

Zhang said he opposed any secessionist remarks and activities of Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian. "National unification is the will of every Chinese, " Zhang added.

However, he denied that the recent military drills were targeted at Taiwan. "They are just normal practices to promote the army's capability," Zhang said.

Some 2,154 CPPCC members out of all the 2,280 registered, attended the opening of the fourth annual full session of The Tenth National Committee at the Great Hall of the People at 3 p.m. (Beijing Time).

Top state leaders, including President Hu Jintao, top lawmaker Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao, Vice-President Zeng Qinghong, Wu Guanzheng, Li Changchun and Luo Gan attended the opening meeting.

CPPCC members and state leaders also listened to a report by Vice-Chairman of the CPPCC National Committee Luo Haocai on how their proposals and suggestions regarding China's reforms and development had been handled since last session in March 2005.

The top political consultants will also be present at the upcoming fourth annual session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) -- China's top legislature, hearing and discussing the report on the government work delivered by Premier Wen Jiabao, and discussing the draft guidelines of the 11th Five-Year (2006- 2010) Development Program for National Economic and Social Development.

The session is expected to last about ten days and conclude on the morning of March 13.

Founded in 1949, the CPPCC consists of elite members of the Chinese society who are willing to serve as the think tank for the government and for the country's legislative and judicial organs.

As an open forum where the ruling Communist Party, the non- Communist parties of China and people with no party affiliations discuss state affairs freely and on an equal footing, the CPPCC National Committee has been the manifestation of China's socialist democracy.

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