China would continue dialogue with president-elect Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration on the basis of “peaceful development” and “familial affinity,” and if the party rejects independence, China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Chairman Chen Deming (陳德銘) said yesterday.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) would not make any direct contact with the DPP for party-to-party talks unless the DPP renounces Taiwanese independence, Chen added.
Chen made the remarks at an ARATS news conference held to clarify Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) statements in Beijing on Saturday to a meeting of Shanghai legislators of the Chinese National People’s Congress, which contained pointed references to the so-called “1992 consensus” and warnings against Taiwanese independence.
The “1992 consensus” refers to a supposed understanding reached during cross-strait talks in 1992 that Taiwan and China acknowledge that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
Chen said that Xi’s comments were “a coherent narrative” that “remains consistent” with the Chinese government’s previous stance on the “1992 consensus,” and that the remarks were “necessitated” by the “current and extraordinarily critical period of cross-strait relations” that require “a full, precise and clear reiteration of the issue.”
When asked if Xi would meet Tsai, Chen said that Xi’s statement “was not directed specifically to any one individual,” but instead was aimed to “clearly express our political bottom line to people on both sides of the [Taiwan] Strait” and that Beijing wishes to see “a continuation of peaceful development and familial affinity across the Strait.”
China “will not contact [the DPP] directly” until the DPP changes the Taiwan independence clause in its party charter, Chen said.
When asked if alternative channels of communication exist between Beijing and the DPP, Chen said that the CCP had been “clear and consistent” in “rejecting any direct contact” with the DPP because of the latter’s refusal to make changes to the Taiwanese independence clause in its party charter.
China remains committed to developing economic ties with Taiwan and negotiations on a proposed cross-strait trade in goods agreement have “already been completed,” Chen said.
The agreement has been “stuck” in the Taiwanese legislature because of its ongoing deliberations on an oversight bill for the conduct of negotiations with China, he added.
Beijing is cognizant of Taiwan’s impending energy shortage and is ready to extend technical and capital assistance to meet Taiwan’s power, water and hydrocarbon needs, providing there is a “will” for continued cooperation, he said.
Chen denied that China has a annexationist agenda for Taiwan in its offer, saying: “Both sides of the Strait have always belonged to the same family.”
However, when asked by the Central News Agency to respond to Chen’s comments with regard to the proposed trade in goods agreement, an unnamed official from Taiwan’s Industrial Development Bureau categorically rejected Chen’s assertion, saying: “The negotiations are nowhere near complete.”
“No progress” had been made in any cross-strait negotiations since the low-level technical talks earlier this year, the unnamed official said, adding that the resignation of former premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) had “effectively frozen” talks with China.
While the Ministry of Economic Affairs understands corporate leaders are strongly in favor of signing the agreement, ministry officials “really do not know what to tell them,” the official said.
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