Wed, Oct 17, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Chen sets terms for dialogue with PRC

RESPONSE If China wants peace, it should abandon the `one China' principle, abolish its `Anti-Secession' Law and destroy the missiles aimed at Taiwan, the president said

By Ko Shu-ling and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTERS

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday placed three conditions on cross-strait negotiations, saying a peace agreement signed under the "one China" framework would be "a deal of surrender."

If Beijing had a mind to push a cross-strait peace treaty, Chen said, China should first abandon the "one China" principle.

Second, it should abolish its "Anti-Secession" Law and third, it should immediately dismantle the 988 ballistic missiles deployed along its southeast coast targeting Taiwan, he said.

Chen made the remarks in response to a call for peaceful negotiations Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) made at the opening of the Chinese Communist Party's five-yearly Congress on Monday.

Hu urged Taiwan to discuss a formal end to the state of hostility, reach a peace agreement and construct a framework for peaceful development of cross-strait relations on the basis of the "one China" principle.

Emphasizing that Taiwan is not China, Chen yesterday said that his repeated calls to put aside disputes and pre-set agendas had fallen on deaf ears.

The crux of the problem lay in China's insistence on the "one China" principle as the precondition for cross-strait talks, Chen said.

"It is impossible to sign such an agreement under the `one China' framework," Chen said.

"What it amounts to is an accord of capitulation. Under such circumstances, Taiwan will become part of China and a province of the People's Republic of China [PRC]," he said.

Taiwan and the PRC are not related, Chen said. Taiwan was a colony of Japan when the PRC was founded in 1949 and Japan never handed Taiwan to China or the PRC, Chen said.

"Only the 23 million people of Taiwan have the right to decide Taiwan's future," he said. "China must stop confusing the world by implying that the Taiwanese are the Chinese."

Chen made the remarks in Keelung City yesterday morning.

Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) said he didn't see anything new that would be helpful to solving cross-strait tensions in Hu's statement given Hu's insistence on the "one China" principle.

While Taiwan's future can only be determined by its own people, China demands to talk with Taiwan on the premise that Taipei recognizes that both sides of the Strait belong to one and the same China, Chang said in response to reporters' questions.

The premier said he deeply regretted that Hu asked Taiwan's political parties to accept the "one China" principle as a precondition for contact with Beijing.

Pressed by reporters for comment, Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said: "Only when China abandons the `one China' framework, abolishes its `Anti-Secession' Law and stops repressing Taiwan's international space can both sides start to negotiate to reach stability and peace."

Later yesterday, Minister of Foreign Affairs James Huang (黃志芳) called a press conference in response to Hu's speech, saying that people needed to be aware of the seriousness of China's "two-handed strategies."

Huang said the media had failed to point this out, instead focusing on the "moderate tone" of Hu's speech.

Hu made lofty remarks about wanting to put an end to cross-strait hostility, sign a peace agreement with Taiwan and create cross-strait peace, but he never mentioned what China has done to limit Taiwan's international space, Huang said.

"Since Hu said he pinned great hopes on the Taiwanese public, I would like to urge him to make clear his position on Taiwanese people's wish to have normal international space," Huang said.

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