Fri, May 13, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Soong makes pact with Hu in Beijing

SIX-POINT COMMUNIQUE Among other issues, the People First Party chairman and the Chinese leader agreed that Taiwan's independence must be thwarted

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) agreed to a six-point communique yesterday, in which they reiterated their belief in the so-called "1992 consensus" and opposition to Taiwan's independence, while hammering out the details of various proposals for cross-strait economic cooperation.

In the second meeting this month between a Taiwanese opposition leader and Hu in his capacity as Chinese Communist Party (CCP) chairman, Soong and Hu met for an hour yesterday in Beijing.

Speaking at a press conference held directly after the talks, the PFP announced the six points of the communique forged in the meeting.

In the first point, the two parties agreed on the importance of resuming cross-strait negotiations on the basis of the "1992 consensus," and specifically detailed the supposed origin and content of the consensus, as formed in the 1992 talks between the Chinese Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) of Taiwan.

The "1992 consensus" refers to an alleged agreement between negotiators from ARATS and SEF to hold talks under the mutual agreement of the "one China" principle, but with different interpretations of what that meant.

While the pan-blue camp has claimed that the consensus should serve as the basis for talks between Taiwan and China, the current administration has consistently said that it does not recognize the "1992 consensus," since it was never formally stated or agreed upon.

The communique added a new term in parentheses -- "two sides of the strait, one China" -- next to the words "1992 consensus," which the statement said highlighted the specific oral descriptions by the SEF and ARATS in their agreement, which it said was later dubbed the "1992 consensus."

"Equal, cross-strait negotiations should be swiftly resumed on the `one China' principle with individual interpretations described above [referring to the oral descriptions attributed to SEF and ARATS] to pragmatically solve important issues of common concern for both sides of the strait through mutual respect and co-existence," PFP policy research center director Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) read yesterday at the press conference.

Second, the parties agreed on their common opposition to Taiwan's independence and common plan to pursue peaceful stabilization in the Taiwan Strait. While saying that Taiwan's independence movement is damaging to the stability and safety of the Taiwan Strait and the Asian region, the two parties then called on "Taiwan's current leader" -- presumably a reference to President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) -- to fulfill his promises, reiterated during a meeting between Chen and Soong, including the "four noes," and to promise not to amend the Constitution.

"Only if there is no possibility that Taiwan is heading toward independence, can there be the effective avoidance of military conflict in the Taiwan Strait," the statement said.

Third, the parties agreed to end the standoff between the two sides of the Strait, and to facilitate the establishment of cross-strait peace mechanisms, including establishing a peace agreement and a mechanism to address military affairs between the countries on either side of the Strait.

Fourth, the statement called for the strengthening of business exchanges between China and Taiwan and the establishment of a system to facilitate economic cooperation. Such economic cooperation, the PFP said, should include facilitating the establishment of cross-strait flights by next year and the establishment of a free trade area for Taiwan and China.

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