Tue, Jan 03, 2006 - Page 1 News List

China tightening the screws: MAC

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

Chinese President Hu Jintao's (胡錦濤) reference to "one country, two systems," a slogan not used by Beijing for some time, indicated that he plans to tighten cross-strait policy, Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday.

In his speech on Dec. 31, Hu said the Chinese people would continue to strive toward realizing unification with Taiwan by adhering to the basic principle of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems."

"`One country, two systems' in Hu's speech was of significance because it has been a long time since the Chinese government used the wording in its official documents," Wu said, adding that "the implication was to tighten cross-strait policy and cause problems for Taiwan's government."

Wu said that Taiwan was very aware of China's restriction of the nation's international space, its growing military threat and its refusal to heed Taiwan's overtures for negotiation.

"We can't expect too much progress in cross-strait relations if the Chinese government continues to ignore the Taiwanese government," he said.

Wu was speaking in the legislature's Home and Nations Committee in response to pan-blue camp legislators, who described Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) New Year's speech as another step in the worsening of cross-strait relations.

Wu yesterday urged Beijing to open an official dialogue with Taipei, an act he said was crucial to resolving cross-strait disputes.

"Only if we grasp the window of opportunity for cross-strait dialogue will we be able to resolve the existing deadlock pragmatically and create a different outlook for cross-strait relations," Wu said.

People First Party Legislator Wu Ching-chih (吳清池) said Chen's announcement that he wanted to hold a referendum for a new constitution in 2007 would not improve cross-strait relations.

Wu said that a new constitution aimed to enshrine a system of government suited to the needs of the country.

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