Sat, Feb 05, 2005 - Page 2 News List

MAC urges more action

CROSS-STRAIT TIES The council's vice chairman called on China to build on recent goodwill gestures by taking concrete action to help resolve the two sides' differences

By Joy Su  /  STAFF REPORTER

China should make good on its recent goodwill gestures by taking concrete action, according to the Mainland Affairs Council Vice Chairman Chiu Tai-san (邱太三).

"Aside from having good intentions, there needs to be action and moves toward resolving existing hindrances to improved cross-strait ties," Chiu said at a press conference yesterday.

Chiu was responding to inquiries regarding recent remarks that Beijing's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) vice chairman and deputy director of the Taiwan Affairs Office Sun Yafu (孫亞夫) had made upon returning to China.

The media reported yesterday that Sun indicated that ARATS and its counterpart organization in Taiwan, the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), would continue to maintain good relations through interaction, exchange, dialogue, and negotiation.

The recent visit to Taiwan of senior Chinese officials, including Sun and ARATS secretary-general Li Yafei (李亞飛), as the personal envoys of their superior, ARATS Chairman Wang Daohan (汪道涵), along with the launch of breakthrough cross-strait non-stop charter flights, have been viewed as indications of a recent thaw in cross-strait relations.

Building on the recent easing of strained ties, the council also released yesterday a short video clip that will be aired in local movie theaters and on TV before and during the Lunar New Year holiday.

The clip features a driver who is impeded by a fallen tree on the road. As wind and rain knock the tree down, the driver gets out of his car to move it out of the way, when he receives unexpected assistance from a driver coming from the opposite direction. With the tree removed, the two drivers give each other a cheery high-five as they pass each other.

A press release accompanying the 30-second clip said that its purpose is to remind people that they can have "new expectations" about cross-strait relations in the new year, and that the government will do its best to stabilize the cross-strait situation.

Giving a more specific explanation of the clip's symbolism, Chiu said that Taiwan hopes Beijing will put off passage of its anti-secession law.

"It's counterproductive," he said.

Chiu gave vague answers yesterday when asked whether Chinese officials had met with the SEF to discuss the so-called "1992 Consensus," a point of contention between Taiwan and China.

"Sun's visit to Taiwan was arranged in light of the circumstances. The government respects that. There was a simple exchange of opinion during the visit," Chiu said, without elaborating.

China, and some in Taiwan, insist that a consensus was reached in semi-official talks in 1992, with both sides agreeing on the "one China" principle, while agreeing to disagree on what that meant. The Chen administration, however, denies that a "consensus" was ever reached.

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