Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) yesterday called on Taiwan to resist moving toward de jure independence in China's annual National Day address, which is traditionally used to appeal for unity between the rivals.
Wen said China stood ready to work with Taiwanese for unification and stressed that Beijing wanted to accomplish its goal peacefully.
"We will continue to work with all the Taiwan compatriots to oppose and repulse separatist activities for `Taiwan independence' and advance the great cause of China's peaceful reunification," Wen said in the speech, delivered with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders seated nearby and addressed to an audience of Chinese political elite and foreign diplomats in Beijing's Great Hall of the People.
Wen's remarks contrast with Beijing's recent alarmist rhetoric against Taiwan.
Speaking at an advance celebration for the country's national day, which is today, Jia Qinglin (
"Taiwan independence activities are extremely rampant, pushing the situation in the Taiwan Strait into a period of high danger," Jia was quoted as saying on Chinese state television news.
In his remarks yesterday, Wen looked ahead to the upcoming CCP National Congress, held once every five years to set major policy directions.
Wen said that the congress would approve Chinese President Hu Jintao's (胡錦濤) program to move toward sustainable development.
The party congress is "a congress of great importance to be held at a time when China's reform and development have entered a crucial stage," the premier said.
Additional reporting by staff writer