CHEN VOWS TO PROTECT TAIWAN'S SOVEREIGNTY IN ENGAGEMENTS WITH CHINA
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Aug. 6 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian reiterated Saturday that ensuring Taiwan's survival and sovereign status is his administration's paramount principle for engagements across the Taiwan Strait.
Chen made the reaffirmation while attending a ceremony marking the fourth anniversary of the founding of the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) which is an ally of Chen's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the legislature.
As relations between the two parties hit some snags recently over cross-strait policy and local government election affairs, Chen took the opportunity to assure TSU politicians that his administration will not waver on its insistence on Taiwan's separate identity from that of China and its pledge to protect Taiwan's sovereignty and eventually make Taiwan a "normal, complete, advanced and great" country.
Chen outlined the "one principle, " "three insistences" and "five oppositions" for his administration's engagements with China.
The "one principle" refers to protecting Taiwan's sovereign status, Chen said, adding that his administration looks forward to hold dialogue and consultations with China under the principle of "democracy, parity and peace."
With a view to achieving domestic political stability and pursuing a breakthrough in deadlocked cross-strait relations, Chen said his administration is seeking reconciliation with opposition parties and cross-strait detente.
But Chen stressed that the detente will be based on "three insistences" -- continued democratic reform, Taiwan's separate identity from that of China's, and developing Taiwan into a "normal, complete, advanced and great" country.
In the process, Chen said his administration will adhere to its "five oppositions" -- opposing Beijing's "one China" principle and its "one country, two systems" unification terms as well as the so-called "1992 consensus" which embodies the "one China" principle, any proposal that upholds unification as the only option for Taiwan's future and China's anti-secession law that codifies the use of "non-peaceful means" against Taiwan.
In his congratulatory speech, Chen also said both the DPP and the TSU agree that China is currently the biggest threat to Taiwan's national security.
While the two parties are "ideological allies" and "action partners, " Chen said the two parties' missions and roles probably differ slightly at the moment.
As the ruling party, Chen said, the DPP cannot completely deny the history of the Republic of China's evolution.
Chen's remarks were seen a veiled effort to remind the TSU that the DPP cannot support its campaign to change Taiwan's present official designation -- the Republic of China.
Chen told TSU politicians that he recently came up with a theory of "four stages of the Republic of China (ROC)" in an attempt to give the public a clear and definitive idea about his ideas regarding Taiwan's sovereignty and national identity.
In the first stage, the ROC was established in China in 1912. In 1949, the ROC "moved" to Taiwan. In the third stage, during the time when Lee Teng-hui was president (1988-2000), "the ROC on Taiwan" was the catch-phrase used to describe the nation, according to Chen. Lee concurrently headed the then-ruing party Kuomintang, but he was ousted from the party in 2001 because of his pro-independence advocacy. Lee is now the TSU's spiritual leader.
In the fourth stage after 2000, with the first peaceful transfer of power between different political parties in the ROC's history, the new phrase should be "the ROC is Taiwan," Chen said.
He noted that prior to 1949, the ROC had nothing to do with Taiwan because the island was under Japanese rule from 1895 until 1945.
(By Sofia Wu)
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