Wed, May 19, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Annette Lu says Beijing is showing positive intentions

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The statement China issued on Sunday demonstrates Beijing's positive intention to communicate with President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in his second term, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said yesterday.

"China obviously put a lot of thought into the statement, because its seven main appeals are actually a reaction to President Chen's goodwill and proposals during the past four years," Lu said.

"I would like to define China's latest statement as a declaration of `peace or war,' and therefore, if we focus on Beijing's positive intention, we can find that `peace' is the common language that has been used by both sides," she said.

"At the end of the statement, China gives Taiwan two choices -- peace or war -- under the criteria set up by Beijing. However, to all Taiwanese people the issue is how to ensure their existence, development and dignity," Lu said.

The vice president had invited the media to a tea gathering at the Presidential Office yesterday, where she told reporters that she would like to believe that China's statement conveyed a certain amount of goodwill from Beijing's leaders.

"The statement echoed remarks by Chen that he would like to pursue peace. It states a willingness to develop peace jointly with the Taiwanese people," she said.

"However, we must also interpret it cautiously, because China's `peace' is based on the pre-condition that Taiwan has to admit being a part of the People's Republic of China, despite 23 million Taiwanese wanting peace so that we can continue developing democracy," Lu said.

She called on the media to rationally analyze the statement, instead of using it to develop a war of words.

"We should stop over-interpreting those tough words in the statement and start to value those parts of goodwill which display the new hope of cross-strait relations," she said.

Lu said the fact that Beijing issued this important statement at midnight, which was the first time it had done this, demonstrated how much emphasis it places on Chen's inauguration speech.

It also shows that China already accepts the result of the presidential election, she said.

Lu said that, in response to China's goodwill in attaching importance to Chen's appeals, the president's inauguration speech will formally express his goodwill in terms of peace.

She said that she had personally invited Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and former vice president Li Yuan-zu (李元簇) to attend the inauguration as guests of honor.

"However, it is regrettable that they both turned down the invitation. Li declined due to his health, and Lien just said that it was inconvenient," Lu said.

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