BEIJING, April 16 -- A mainland spokeswoman said on Wednesday that the hard-earned peaceful development of cross-Strait relations has benefited compatriots from both sides and should be cherished.
Fan Liqing of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council made the remarks when asked to comment on the Taiwan students' protest regarding a cross-Strait service trade pact at a press conference here.
Hundreds of students stormed into the legislative chamber on March 18 in protest of what they see as "undemocratic" tactics used by the ruling Kuomintang to speed up the ratification of the pact between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan
A follow-up to the 2010 Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), the service trade agreement aims to open up 80 of the mainland's service sectors to Taiwan and 64 Taiwan sectors to the mainland.
The protesters exited the legislative building on April 11.
Fan said since 2008, the mainland and Taiwan have created a new situation for the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations with joint efforts and made a series of achievements.
"The hard-won peaceful development of cross-Strait relations deserves to be cherished," she said. "We believe that people from both sides, including the majority of the Taiwan compatriots, would not be willing to see that situation disturbed and destroyed."
The mainland is willing to listen to more suggestions from people of all walks of life in Taiwan on cross-Strait cooperation in order to benefit more Taiwanese people, she said.
"We hope that follow-up agreements to the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, including a goods trade pact, will not be hampered by student protests," said Fan.
Responding to a question on attempts at supervising cross-Strait agreements, Fan said "Taiwan independence" forces are using supervising as a disguise and attempting to legalize the "one country on each side" idea in order to meet their goal of hampering cross-Strait negotiation and the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations.
The mainland firmly opposes "Taiwan independence" and no one across the Strait would like to see cross-Strait relations return to tension and confrontation, according to the spokeswoman.
Since negotiations resumed in 2008, the mainland and Taiwan have reached 21 agreements and consensus on many issues, moves that have brought substantial benefits to compatriots of both sides and are supported by the mainstream public opinion of both sides and the international community, Fan said.
The normal process of cross-Strait equal consultation should not be hindered, she added.
In response to a question at the press conference, Fan said that the service trade pact is a signed agreement and there is no precedent for renegotiating a signed pact.
The authority of agreements reached by the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation must be maintained, she said.
"We are willing to share the opportunity brought about by the mainland's economic development with Taiwan compatriots as the two sides of the Strait are of one family," Fan told the conference.