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Spokesman: Cross-Straits relations at a crucial point

  BEIJING, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- The development of cross-Straits relations has reached a crucial moment and to safeguard peace is an urgent task for compatriots on both sides, a mainland spokesman said here on Wednesday.

  Yang Yi, spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said that regardless of the opposition from Taiwan compatriots and the international community, Chen Shui-bian clings obstinately to secessionist activities for "Taiwan independence", including the so-called "referendum on UN membership".

  "This is a severe threat to peace and stability in cross-Straits regions," said Yang at a regular press conference.

  "To firmly curb Taiwan secessionists' independence attempts and maintain cross-Straits peace are the most important and urgent tasks," he said.

  In the past year the Taiwan authority, led by Chen, has increased up its secessionist activities and cross-Strait tension has risen as a result.

  "We will unite with Taiwan compatriots to firmly oppose and curb the so-called 'Constitutional reform' and 'referendum on UN membership' for 'De Jure Independence of Taiwan'", he said.

  He said the mainland will adhere to the principle of "peaceful reunification, and one country, two systems", the eight-point proposal for developing relations across the Taiwan Straits and the four-point guideline on the relations with the island.

  "We will further promote cross-Straits exchanges and implement preferential policies for Taiwan compatriots," he said.

  Chen's secessionist policies have not met with much support from islanders. Taiwan's ruling party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffered a landslide defeat at the hands of its rival, the Kuomintang (KMT), in "legislature" elections on Jan. 12. The KMT won 81 of the 113 seats in the elections, beating the DPP led by Chen, which won only 27 seats.

  In the wake of the defeat, Chen resigned his post as DPP chairman to take responsibility for what he termed the most disastrous defeat since the DPP was founded.