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BEIJING SHOULD RESPOND POSITIVELY TO INAUGURATION SPEECH: MAC

2004-05-21 19:29:57

    Taipei, May 21 (CNA) The nation's top mainland China policy planner urged Beijing Friday to respond positively to President Chen Shui-bian's inauguration speech.

    Joseph Wu, chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), made the remarks in a press conference.

    He said that cross-Taiwan Strait relations should be the mutual responsibility of both sides of the strait, not a demand of one side on the other, and that both sides should move toward "more pragmatism and flexibility."

    The MAC hopes that Beijing will respond positively to the president's inauguration speech, so as to implement the mainland's vision of itself as a "peacefully rising" country, Wu said.

    He said that Chen's speech was broad-visioned with goodwill and expectations, which he said will lay the basis of the country's mainland policy for the next four years of pursuing "long-term, predicable, and manageable cross-strait relations."

    Wu noted that Chen said he can understand Beijing's insistence on its "one China principle," in light of the historial complexities and ethnic sentiments, but he also reminded Beijing of the Taiwan people's conviction to strive for peace.

    The president said that if Beijing continues to isolate Taiwan diplomatically and to block Taiwan's rightful participation in the international arena, it will only serve to drive the hearts of the Taiwanese people further away.

    He also proposed that both sides take the opportunity to create an environment for "peaceful development and freedom of choices." In addition, both sides can expand exchanges and resume cross-strait dialogue so as to build the basis of mutual trust to narrow the gap between the two sides, the president said.

    Wu said that the council will base its agenda on Chen's inauguration speech to continue to work toward "the pursuit of peace, normalizing cross-strait consultations and building up domestic consensus.

    Wu and his deputy, Chiu Tai-san, earlier met with the legislative caucus of the opposition Taiwan Solitary Union, an ally of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

    Wu echoed Chen's words that future cross-strait relations can take any possible form so long as such relations have the consent of the 23 million people of Taiwan.

    Wu said the "one country, two systems" formula cherished by the mainland, unification with the mainland or Taiwan independence can all be possible options.

    Yet he also stressed that so far, there is no market for "one country, two systems" in Taiwan. If there are other formulas that can resolve the cross-strait differences and gain the consent of the 23 million people of Taiwan, "they are also viable options," he added.

(By Lilian Wu)ENDITE3/J



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