Fri, Mar 06, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Talks require ‘1992 consensus,’ goodwill: Taiwan

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Presidential Office vowed to push cross-strait relations on the basis of the so-called “1992 consensus,” following Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s (溫家寶) speech in Beijing yesterday.

Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said cross-strait relations would make peaceful progress if both sides extended goodwill.

As for Wen’s call for a “comprehensive economic cooperation agreement,” Deputy Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council Liu Te-shun (劉德勳) said the government knows that China’s financial system has structural problems and it hoped quasi-official agencies could help resolve the problems.

The government also hoped to see both sides engage in trade exchanges and interactions based on the existing foundation, he said, adding that under such a framework, both sides could march more confidently down the road of peace and mutual existence.

Responding to Wen’s comment about Taiwan’s international space, Liu said mutual trust was vital before tackling “very difficult” issues. Public consensus was equally important, taking into account that Taiwan is a diverse society and a democracy, Liu said.

As for Wen’s comment that Beijing was willing to negotiate on Taiwan’s desire to participate in the activities of international organizations on the basis of the “one China” policy, Liu said: “Mainland China should extend more goodwill gestures to our wish to have more international space.”

Liu said both sides must face reality. Any cross-strait issues must be dealt with by an institutionalized cross-strait negotiation mechanism and proceed under the principles of equality and dignity, he said.

Taiwan Solidarity Union Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) said Wen’s speech suggested China does not recognize Ma’s “one China, with each side having its own interpretation.”

However, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Justin Chou (周守訓), convener of the Foreign and National Defense Committee, shrugged off Wen’s repetition of Beijing’s “one China” principle: “There is no need for us to react excessively. Today was not the first time [he has made such a remark].”

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY FLORA WANG

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