The United States on Monday welcomed Chinese President Hu Jintao's statement on relations across the Taiwan Straits, saying that Hu's call for a peace agreement across the Straits is "a step in the right direction."
"We believe that President Hu's remarks were a step in the right direction on seeking to reinvigorate a cross-Straits dialogue," White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.
"As to President Hu's specific proposals, it is up to the people on both sides of the Straits to decide the terms and conditions under which exchanges, dialogue, and consultations occur," the spokesman added.
The Chinese president made the appeal for a peace agreement across the Straits in Beijing on Monday, in a report to the opening of the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
"Here we would like to make a solemn appeal: On the basis of the one-China principle, let us discuss a formal end to the state of hostility between the two sides, reach a peace agreement, construct a framework for peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, and thus usher in a new phase of peaceful development," Hu said at the congress.
"We will make every effort to achieve anything that serves the interests of our Taiwan compatriots, contributes to the maintenance of peace in the Taiwan Straits region, and facilitates peaceful national reunification," the president said.
Hu reiterated the Party's long-time stance that the mainland side "will never waver in our commitment to the one-China principle, never abandon our efforts to achieve peaceful reunification, never change the policy of placing our hopes on the people in Taiwan and never compromise in our opposition to the secessionist activities aimed at 'Taiwan independence'."
"China's sovereignty and territorial integrity brook no division, and any matter in this regard must be decided by the entire Chinese people including our Taiwan compatriots," he said.
"We are willing to make every effort with the utmost sincerity to achieve peaceful reunification of the two sides, and will never allow anyone to separate Taiwan from the motherland in any name or by any means," he said.
In the past five years leading up to the current CPC National Congress, political parties on both sides of the Taiwan Straits started communication, and the Anti-Secession Law was enacted to resolutely safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.