Vice Premier Qian Qichen Meets Delegation from United Daily News Group of Taiwan
Vice Premier Qian Qichen, Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of CPC met with a delegation from the United Daily News Group of Taiwan on August 25, during which he answered questions raised by the delegation.
Qian said that he is optimistic about the prospects of the development of the cross-Straits relations, which have witnessed
expanding exchanges and cooperation in economic, cultural and other fields and frequent personnel contacts in the recent decade. However, there also exist some political hurdles between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits. The major problem is that the leader of the Taiwan authorities still refuses to consider himself a Chinese, evades the one-China principle and plays word games resulting in the stalemate of cross-Straits dialogues and negotiations. As far as the Taiwan question is concerned, the One China Principle we advocate is that there is only one China in the world, of which both Mainland and Taiwan are part; China's sovereignty and territorial integrity brooks no separation. One China is the common ground that both sides of the Taiwan Straits share and under the One China Principle, we take no exception to the maintenance of economic and cultural ties between Taiwan and foreign countries. By pursuing the "Two States Theory", Taiwan will only find itself in an ever narrowing international space. Qian told the visitors "Taiwan independence" will never be accepted by the international community and the Chinese people, including the majority of Taiwan compatriots. "Taiwan independence" is dangerous and will lead nowhere.
According to Qian, the earlier realization of direct trade, postal, air and shipping services between the mainland and Taiwan is the ardent wish of the people on both sides of the Straits. Now Taiwan compatriots have to come to Mainland via a third venue instead of coming straight to Mainland through the normal route, causing great waste in terms of time, manpower and resources. As early as 20 years ago, we put forward the proposal of three direct links. Taiwan's "National Reunification Platform" also stipulated that three direct links should be realized sometime in the future. Now some people suggested that the Platform be rectified and made the promise of realizing three direct links within the year. However, there has been no concrete action to date. The major problem that impedes the direct services lies on the side of Taiwan, not on the side of Mainland. As long as it is agreed that it is navigation lane inside one country, the specific questions about direct shipping service will be readily solved. Methods can be simplified as much as possible for that matter. For instance, direct shipping link can be established either between Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan or between Fuzhou, Xiamen and kaohsiung and ships of both sides should be allowed to enter in each other's port. The key is whether the Taiwan authorities are sincere about improving cross-straits relations.
During the meeting, Qian expressed his concern about the human and property losses caused by the hurricane which hit Taiwan not long ago and offered his condolences and regards to the people in the disaster-stricken area. He also spoke highly of the media's role in bringing people across the Taiwan Straits closer, enhancing mutual understanding, clearing up misunderstanding and broadening common ground of people on both sides of the Straits. He voiced the hope that the press circles on both sides of the Straits will increase exchanges so as to play an even greater role in promoting the development of cross-Straits relations and realizing national reunification.