Sat, Nov 20, 2004 - Page 2 News List

MAC, TAO tussle over the so-called May 17 statement

STALEMATE China is not interested in participating in cross-strait dialogue, as is evidenced by its insistence on setting preconditions for talks, MAC officials said

By Joy Su  /  STAFF REPORTER

China's continued adherence to the May 17 Statement only serves to put limitations on the "normal development" of cross-strait relations, the Mainland Affairs Council said in response to a series of remarks recently coming out of China.

Vice Chairman Johnnason Liu (劉德勳) yesterday made a three-point response to recent remarks made by Wang Zaixi (王在希), vice minister of China's Taiwan Affairs Office office spokesman Li Weiyi (李維一) and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait.

"Resuming dialogue is the most urgent task both sides face right now, and the council has already said on several occasions that we are willing to engage in negotiations with no political preconditions to discuss concerns held in common by both sides," Liu said yesterday.

During a press conference on Nov 17, Li rebuffed President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) proposal, issued during his National Security Meeting ten-point statement, to use the "Hong Kong model" to immediately initiate discussions on Lunar New Year charter flights.

Li said Taiwan's adherence to "one country on each side of the Taiwan Strait" stood in the way of negotiations and further called on Taiwan to recognize the so-called "1992 Consensus" and the "one China" principle.

"Judging from the remarks made by Chinese officials lately, we feel that China continues to employ the political stance expressed in its May 17 Statement and aims to limit the normal development of relations unilaterally," Liu said, adding that China's criticisms of Taiwan were "unreasonable."

"The development of cross-strait relations depends on a concerted effort from both sides of the Strait," Liu also said, reiterating that cross-strait peace was a responsibility of both Taiwan and China.

Liu said that despite the goodwill that Chen had extended in his inauguration speech, his National Day Speech and his National Security Meeting statement, China had failed to give a complete or positive response on each occasion.

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