Thu, Mar 16, 2006 - Page 4 News List

Wu `tests' China over offer to visit


Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday said his announcement that he would like to visit China was aimed at testing China's willingness to have political contact with Taiwan.

Wu was responding to questions on why he was willing to visit China at a time of tense relations following Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's (溫家寶) harsh criticism of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) over the latter's scrapping of the National Unification Council and unification guidelines.

Wen said both sides of the Taiwan Strait should communicate on the basis of the "one China" principle.

Wu said "Taiwan cannot remain silent when China has launched a drive to paint Taiwan as the party that hinders cross-strait dialogue."

He said after China enacted its "Anti-Secession" Law last March to codify its use of "non-peaceful means" against Taiwan should the country move toward formal independence, the international community raised questions about the move. But China adopted a "charm offensive" against Taiwan with the aim of misleading the world.

The international community has prodded Taiwan to engage in dialogue with China, making Taiwan the party that has to shoulder the pressure, he said.

Wu said government officials have repeatedly indicated that they are willing to visit China if there is no "one China" precondition.

But he said Beijing obviously had no intention of engaging in cross-strait dialogue because it had once again set the precondition of "one China" for talks.

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