Sun, Jan 08, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Cross-strait relations could worsen: Wu

CNA , TAIPEI

The possibility of cross-strait relations taking a turn for the worse cannot be ruled out, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with CNA, Wu said that there are neither visible indications that the situation across the strait will improve in the near future nor any signs in China's Taiwan policy or other international factors that will help produce any breakthroughs in relations over the next two years.

"The main variable lies inside China," he added.

As China is facing growing social unrest at home, with the number of protests on the rise, Beijing may try to take advantage of a crisis outside the country to shift focus away from internal problems, Wu claimed.

China's reluctance to renounce its "one China" principle and the "one country, two systems" unification formula has made it "impossible" for the two sides to achieve any significant breakthroughs, such as setting up a military trust mechanism or opening political dialogue, he said.

Although Taiwan has repeatedly offered olive branches to China, Beijing has consistently cold-shouldered Taiwan's peace overtures, Wu said, pointing out that this is the "practical understanding" of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in his dealings with China over the past five years.

Beijing's rejection of Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chang Chun-hsiung's (張俊雄) offer to visit China to attend the funeral for the late Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Wang Daohan (汪道涵) is the latest example of its cold-shouldering of Taiwan, Wu noted.

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