PREMIER RULES OUT PRE-CONDITIONS FOR CROSS-STRAIT NEGOTIATIONS
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, March 8 (CNA) Premier Frank Hsieh said Tuesday that Beijing should not impose any prerequisites for reopening negotiations between Taiwan and mainland China.
Hsieh made the remarks while answering questions from People First Party Legislator Lee Ching-an in a legislative interpellation, who enquired about the government's stance on the impending enactment of Beijing's "anti-secession law," which observers say could be aimed at curbing Taiwan independence. The lawmaker suggested the government recognize the "1992 consensus" in its dealings with the mainland.
Hsieh called on Beijing to put aside its sovereignty disputes with Taiwan and forswear any other preconditions to display a greater degree of goodwill for rekindling bilateral negotiations on the grounds that the "bigger should compromise more."
Stressing that peace is the cornerstone of cross-Taiwan Strait relations, he said that the government is willing to start two-way talks on direct cargo services based on parity and dignity and even those on direct trade, passenger transport and postal links based on the pattern of the recent Taiwan-mainland charter flights during the lunar new year holidays.
Responding to a question from Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Su Chi about whether President Chen Shui-bian's stated desire to write a new constitution for Taiwan provokes Beijing, the premier said that what matters is its contents.
Since what the president referred to focuses on a streamlining of the legislative and executive branches and will not touch on the nation's official designation or change his "five noes" policy, such contents should not constitute a provocation to Beijing, he said.
While fielding questions from KMT Legislator John Chang on opening regular links across the strait, he also vowed to strive for Taiwan's co-existence with the mainland at a time when Beijing's parliament is anticipated to finish the "anti-secession" legislation next week. He pledged not to give up the goal no matter how difficult the situation.
(By Flor Wang)
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