Cross-Straits Co-op Faces New Chances, Says Senior Chinese Official

The imminent entry of the Chinese mainland and Taiwan into the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other events are offering a rare chance for the promotion of cross-straits economic co-operation, a senior Chinese official in charge of Taiwan affairs said Tuesday.

Li Bingcai, deputy director of the Office of Taiwan Affairs of the State Council, made the remarks at a conference attended by officials from associations of Taiwan-funded enterprises nationwide.

Li listed China's 10th five-year plan, its "go west" strategy and Beijing's winning of the right to host the 2008 Olympic Games as major events that will advance ties across the Taiwan Straits.

"The development of cross-straits economic co-operation is impossible without stable cross-straits relations, while the foundation for stabilizing and improving cross-straits relations is for both sides to stick to the one-China policy," Li told the conference that closed Tuesday in Tongxiang, Zhejiang Province.

Li expressed the mainland's appreciation for the efforts made by the Taiwanese business circle in promoting cross-straits ties and urged them to continue playing a positive role in the matter.

The participants agreed that recognizing the "consensus of 1992 " and sticking to the "one-China" policy lay a strong foundation for improved cross-straits ties and are the key to lift Taiwan economy out of slump.

They called on the Taiwanese authority to recognize the "1992 consensus" and open direct links as soon as possible.

China approved the first association for Taiwan-funded enterprises in 1990 as an important measure to protect the interests of Taiwanese businesses on the mainland.

Since then, 62 such associations have been set up in Taiwanese heavily invested areas.

People's Daily Online ---