China / HK Macao Taiwan

'Taiwan independence' will never succeed, premier stresses

By Zhang Yue in Boao and Peng Yining in Beijing (China Daily) Updated: 2016-03-25 08:05

Activities seeking "Taiwan independence" have no chance of succeeding, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday.

"The blood relations between people on both sides of the Straits cannot be cut off," he said on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference.

Li made the remarks during his meeting with Vincent Siew, honorary chairman of the Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation.

He added that the mainland will remain committed to peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and will uphold the 1992 Consensus.

Xinhua News Agency quoted Li as saying that "everything is discussable" on the premise that both sides acknowledge the 1992 Consensus, which says both the mainland and Taiwan are parts of one China.

Siew, attending the forum for the 10th time, said he is looking forward to improving economic exchanges and cooperation between the two sides on the basis of peaceful development in recent years.

Li said businesspeople from the mainland and Taiwan have been the participants, promoters and biggest beneficiaries of cross-Straits exchanges, and can also directly sense how precious and important peaceful development is.

"The success of peaceful development should be enjoyed by both sides and also protected by both sides," Li said, adding that policies toward Taiwan have been consistent and clear and will not change because of political changes on the island.

Ni Yongjie, deputy director of the Shanghai Institute of Taiwan Studies, said that after being elected in January as Taiwan's new leader, Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, has not clearly revealed her stance on the 1992 Consensus.

In a recent interview, Tsai said the mainland should "show more goodwill" before May 20, when she is scheduled to take office.

Zhang Zhijun, director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said upholding the 1992 Consensus is the mainland's principle, and also shows goodwill.

"We want an answer on how cross-Straits relations stand," he said in an interview while attending the Forum on Thursday, adding that people can only see the future of these relations when this question is answered clearly.

"Cross-Straits relations have entered a critical phase," he said. "Now the ball is in Taiwan's court."

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