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Cross-Strait peace, stability promoted

By ZHANG YI | China Daily | Updated: 2024-01-03 09:43
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Mainland's top island affairs official calls for opposing secession in new year speech

The Chinese mainland will strongly oppose "Taiwan independence" secession and interference by external forces, maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and promote the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations in the new year, the mainland's Taiwan affairs authority said.

Song Tao, head of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, made the remarks in a New Year message published on Tuesday in Relations Across the Taiwan Strait magazine.

Song said the mainland firmly maintained its dominance in steering cross-Strait relations last year, steadily promoting the peaceful and integrated development of the two sides and advancing the process of national reunification.

Efforts were made to resume and expand cross-Strait exchanges, Song said.

"More Taiwan compatriots have recognized the importance of communication among family members and the value of harmony," he said.

The mainland also continued to deepen the integrated development of both sides, and in September a policy was issued by authorities to support Fujian province to build a demonstration zone for integrated development across the Taiwan Strait to push forward the peaceful reunification of the two sides.

"Taiwan compatriots and enterprises have confidence in the mainland market and have a positive view of the prospects for development and establishing roots on the mainland," Song said.

Adhering to the policies of peaceful reunification and "one country, two systems", the mainland maintained peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and resolutely opposed "Taiwan independence" separatist activities and external interference in the past year, he said.

Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen, who will leave office upon the completion of her second four-year term in May, gave her final New Year's Day address on Monday. She said that Taiwan strengthened its military force and maintained the "status quo" over the Strait during her eight years in office.

Chen Binhua, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office, said Tsai's actions, including intensified pursuit of "independence "through military means and implementing "de-Sinicization "policies contradicted her words.

Since the Democratic Progressive Party came to power in Taiwan in 2016, Tsai's administration has been promoting and selling the "two-state theory" and forcibly obstructing and restricting cross-Strait exchanges and cooperation, thereby continually raising tensions in the Taiwan Strait, Chen said.

"The so-called Tsai Ing-wen route is a separatist route, a route of confrontation and a route that harms Taiwan. It is the biggest source of chaos, which endangers Taiwan's security, jeopardizes the interests of the Taiwan people and disrupts regional stability," he said.

Stressing that continuing Tsai's route would only push Taiwan closer to war and recession, Chen called on Taiwan compatriots to recognize the harm that the DPP would bring and make the right choice at the crossroads of cross-Strait relations.

With Taiwan's leadership election, which takes place every four years, scheduled to be held on Jan 13, candidates from the island's three major political parties have been gearing up for the position.

Zou Zhiqiang, deputy secretary-general of the Alliance for China's Peaceful Reunification, which is based in the US, said, "People in Taiwan do not want a war, but hope that cross-Strait relations will ease, and maintain peace and stability."

Starting on Monday, 12 chemical products from Taiwan no longer enjoy the preferential tax rates stipulated in the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement agreed between two sides in response to the discriminatory trade restrictions the island has imposed on products from the mainland.

Zou said that under the governance of the DPP, the political foundation for cross-Strait exchanges and negotiations has been undermined, and if the DPP continued to stay in power and the ECFA was terminated by the mainland, the economy of Taiwan would be greatly impacted.

That would have an impact on the consumption and employment of young Taiwan people, therefore only by removing the DPP from power can the next generation of Taiwan see a future, he said.

Song Tao from the mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office said the reunification of the two sides is inevitable and a clear trend in the development of cross-Strait relations.

He called on Taiwan compatriots to stand on the right side of history and promote the return of cross-Strait relations to the correct track of peaceful development.

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