NO NEED TO RETRACT 'SPECIAL STATE-TO-STATE' THEORY: PREMIER
Taipei, Aug. 17 (CNA) Premier Vincent Siew said on Tuesday he sees no need for the Republic of China government to retract the "special state-to-state relationship" theory.
Siew was responding to mainland Chinese Vice Premier Qian Qichen's remarks that the "special state-to-state" theory is purely ROC President Lee Teng-hui's own views.
Qian, a former mainland foreign minister, was quoted as saying during a meeting with a pro-unification delegation from Taiwan on Monday that Beijing is still waiting for Koo Chen-fu, Taiwan's top negotiator with the mainland, to retract the "special state-to-state" theory so as to pave the way for opening cross-strait political negotiations.
Qian was referring to President Lee's defining relations across the Taiwan Strait as a "special state-to-state relationship" during an interview with Germany's Deutsche Welle radio station on July 9. The definition has drawn furious reaction from Beijing which regards it as a move to promote Taiwan independence.
Commenting on Qian's remarks, Premier Siew said the "special state-to-state" theory simply describes facts and clarifies special features of cross-strait relationship.
"President Lee's definition mainly affirms reality and underscores parity between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait," Siew explained, adding that the definition does not mark a shift in Taiwan's policy toward the mainland.
The premier went on to say that the Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), which charts Taiwan's mainland policy, has issued a position paper detailing the meaning and purposes of the "special state-to-state" theory.
"We have also reiterated on many occasions that our policy of promoting cross-strait exchanges and dialogue as well as seeking an eventual democratic unification remains unchanged," Siew said.
Stressing that the ROC's sovereign status is an indisputable fact, Siew said he does not think that the ROC government has to retract President Lee's "special state-to-state" remarks.
Meanwhile, Taiwan's top negotiator with Beijing Koo Chen-fu reiterated the ROC's sincere welcome to his mainland counterpart Wang Daohan's planned visit to Taiwan this autumn.
Koo, a veteran business tycoon and senior adviser to President Lee, said despite the recent controversy over the "special state-to-state" theory, the ROC government still looks forward to hosting Wang's visit.
Koo, who made an ice-breaking visit to the mainland last October, made no immediate comments on Qian's Monday call for him to retract the "special state-to-state" theory. "I can't respond to Qian's remarks until I obtain a full text or full information about his talks," he added.
In related news, MAC Chairman Su Chi said in an interview with Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper that so long as Beijing accepts the "special state-to-state" definition, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can start negotiations on highly sensitive political issues, including the opening of direct cross-strait trade, transport and postal links.
The ROC's top mainland policy planner told the largest Japanese daily that the definition is mainly aimed at setting the fundamental principle for substantive talks with communist China.
"Only under this principle can Taiwan starts political negotiations with the mainland," Su explained.
The scholar-turned-policy planner pointed out that Beijing's so-called "one China" principle is detrimental to Taiwan in any political negotiations because it downgrades the ROC to a local-level government.
Su stressed that in the 21st century, cross-strait ties should not be a "father-son" relationship as Beijing claims. "We hope cross-strait ties will move toward a 'brotherly' or 'neighbor-like' relationship," he noted, adding that this is what the "special state-to-state" theory means. (By Sofia Wu)
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