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Qian Qichen on Peaceful Reunification Across Taiwan Straits

  Chinese vice-premier Qian Qichen reiterated in Beijing on January 28 that China will adhere to a clear-cut stand on the "one China" principle and make sure that the status of Taiwan as part of China will not change.

  The remark came at Thursday's forum marking the fourth anniversary of Jiang Zemin's important speech on promoting reunification and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Message to Compatriots in Taiwan.

  Li Ruihuan, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), also attended the forum.

  Qian said the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee issued the Message to Compatriots in Taiwan on January 1, 1979, and announced the principle of peaceful reunification in the form of a document from the organ of the supreme state power.

  Jiang Zemin's eight-point proposition, put forward on January 30, 1995, reflects the practice and development of the basic idea of Chinese leaders of the third generation on the resolution of the Taiwan question, and became another guiding document for solving the Taiwan question, he said.

  Qian said China's reunification process has been advancing in the past two decades, and the isolated state across the Taiwan Straits has been broken down.

  Cross-straits unofficial exchanges in the fields of culture, academics, and sports are expanding rapidly, and direct postal, commercial and transport links across the Taiwan Straits have become an essential part of Taiwan's social and economic development, he noted.

  Qian said the Taiwan compatriots who are carrying out the glorious patriotic tradition are the main force for realizing reunification.

  Reunification under the "one country, two systems" principle will not change Taiwan's social or economic system, or lifestyle, he pointed out.

  Qian said, "We have never objected to non-governmental exchanges in the fields of economy, culture and science between Taiwan compatriots and foreign countries."

  But it is another matter to launch separatist activities in the name of "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan," under the excuse of "the people's will" and "expanding international living space," he noted.

  Qian recalled that some people in Taiwan have attempted to change the status of Taiwan by means of referendum, and said it is illegal and invalid to change the status of Taiwan as a part of China.

  All the Chinese people will resolutely safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the motherland, he said.

  Qian stressed that the political disparity between the two sides across the Taiwan Straits is not a contradiction of so-called social systems or democracy, but between separatism and anti-separatism.

  He expressed the hope that the Taiwan authorities will hold political negotiations with the mainland, and put an end to the state of hostility under the "one China" principle.

  Last October, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) in the mainland and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) from Taiwan reached a four-point consensus during SEF chairman Koo Chen-fu's visit to the mainland.

  Qian said he hopes ARATS and SEF will make preparations for ARATS president Wang Daohan's trip to Taiwan this year.

  Qian said that China's reunification and rejuvenation has been the lofty ideal of the Chinese people for several generations.

  As Hong Kong has returned to the motherland and Macao's return is in sight, Qian called on all Chinese patriots to unite and jointly strive for the great cause of reunification.