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UPDATED: 14:12, June 25, 2004
"New constitution" means timetable for Taiwan independence: official
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A Taiwan affairs official of China's State Council Wednesday warned that the Taiwan leader's plan to hatch up a "new constitution" will result in tensions and danger in the Taiwan Straits.

At the first regular press conference after the March 20 election in Taiwan, Li Weiyi, a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, or the Chinese central government, described the agenda on "constitution" as a timetable for "Taiwan Independence".

Chen Shui-bian, leader of Taiwan authorities, has stated in public time and again his intention to hold a referendum on writing a new constitution in 2006 and enact the constitution in 2008 to make Taiwan a "normal and complete nation", while calling for a cross-strait framework for peace, stability and interaction.

The spokesman dismissed Chen's remarks on the proposed framework for peace, stability and interaction between the two sides as a move to deceive the people of Taiwan and the international community.

Li noted that Chen has been creating chaos in Taiwan society and sabotaging cross-strait relations during his four years in power, and blamed Chen's separatist stance for the increased factors of instability in Taiwan and the deterioration of Taiwan's environment for development.

What Chen had said and done had "posed a direct threat to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region", Li said.

Pertaining to recent remarks by Chen, who said that the mainstream public opinion in Taiwan is protecting Taiwan against China, the spokesman said the outcome of the March 20 referendum in Taiwan definitely proved that most people want to see stability and development of relations between the two sides across the Taiwan Straits.

Chen is misleading people and has caused serious damage to the cross-strait relations, Li said, and it will impair the stability of Taiwan society, economic development and the well-being of the people of Taiwan.

Chen's remarks betrayed his real intention to create confrontation between the two sides and push for "Taiwan independence", the spokesman acknowledged.

He said the Chinese mainland is still full of confidence about the prospects of development of the cross-strait relations despite the deliberate attempts by Taiwan authorities to undermine the ties, since they are in the fundamental interests of the people across the Taiwan straits and complies with the trend for peace and development.

"Our will and resolve to achieve a complete reunification of the motherland will never be altered no matter what changes occur to the situation of Taiwan, and we will continue to exert the utmost sincerity and the utmost efforts to strive for peaceful reunification," he said.

"But we will never tolerate 'Taiwan Independence', and never allow anyone to separate Taiwan from China by any means," he warned, adding that "no one should underestimate the determination and capability of the Chinese government and people to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the motherland at any cost."

During his meeting with visiting US Vice President Dick Cheney on Wednesday, Chinese President Hu Jintao said his government is committed to the peaceful solution of the Taiwan issue, but China will not tolerate "Taiwan Independence".

On a separate meeting with Cheney, Jiang Zemin, chairman of the Chinese Central Military Commission, also said China is willing to exert the utmost sincerity and the utmost efforts to realize peaceful reunification, and Sino-US ties will have more room for development if the Taiwan issue is well handled.

Mainland's policies on cross-strait exchanges, dialogue remain unchanged

A mainland Taiwan affairs official said Wednesday that the Chinese mainland's policies on cross-strait dialogues and exchanges remains unchanged, and that will not alter because of the situation in Taiwan.

The spokesman said the "One China Principle" serves as the basis for cross-strait dialogue and negotiation, and for peace and stability in the area of Taiwan Straits.

Such dialogue and negotiation can be resumed at any time if Taiwan authorities recognize and accept the principle, said the spokesman.

On Chen's plan to send a representative to the mainland before May 20, the spokesman dismissed it as double-speak.

After four years of observation, the spokesman noted, the true nature of Chen can been seen very clearly from his words and deeds, and that is he is pursuing "gradual Taiwan Independence".

The Chinese mainland will continue to encourage and support Taiwan compatriots to invest, do trade and promote business within its capacity and safeguard their legitimate interest and rights according to law, said the spokesman.

Li denied any policies or moves by the mainland to curb cross-strait exchanges and people-to-people contact.

Concerning a proposal by Taiwan authorities that mainland residents are to be fingerprinted when entering the island for temporary or permanent stays, the spokesman referred to it as a discriminatory measure, which the mainland is in fir opposition to.

The spokesman hints that the mainland would not take retaliatory measures, reiterating its policy of welcoming Taiwanese compatriots to visit.

With regard to the "three links" across the Taiwan straits, namely, direct trade, air and shipping services and postal services, the spokesman said that the mainland has been advancing the three links and been making unremitting efforts in this regard.

Chen Shui-bian, leader of Taiwan authorities, nevertheless, sets an obstacle to it as he has been insisting on handling the issue as an international one on a nation-to-nation basis, Li said.

Source: Xinhua

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