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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Sovereignty dispute may hinder cross-strait peace treaty: MAC

ROC Central News Agency

2008-03-24 18:43:07

    Taipei, March 24 (CNA) The incoming Kuomintang (KMT) administration will have difficulty pushing for the signing of a peace treaty with China, on the grounds that the cross-Taiwan Strait sovereignty dispute will not be resolved in the short term, a Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official predicted Monday.

    Speaking at a seminar on post-election cross-strait relations sponsored by Chinese Youth Solidarity and the Chu Hai College of Higher Education, MAC Deputy Chairman Tung Chen-Yuan said the dispute over Taiwan's sovereignty will not be ironed out in the short run, so it will not be easy for the two sides to enter into a cross-strait peace treaty and initiate bilateral political talks.

    The KMT has laid great emphasis on Taiwan-centric identity over the past eight years, with its president-elect, Ma Ying-jeou, identifying himself as Taiwanese during the presidential campaign and stressing that Taiwan's future must be decided by the Taiwanese people, Tung said, adding that this stance differs greatly from that of the Beijing authorities.

    Moreover, Ma has also said that China must dismantle its missiles targeting Taiwan before a peace treaty can be signed. It is impossible, however, for Beijing to remove its 1,328 missiles in the short term, Tung contended.

    In addition, the Chinese leadership have insisted that bilateral negotiations on a cross-strait peace treaty should be held within the framework of Beijing's "one China" principle, while Ma said in April 2006 that if the Beijing authorities construe the so-called "1992 consensus" as the "one China" principle, he would not accept it, according to Tung.

    He further said that during the 1995-2000 period, China insisted that Taiwan should accept the "one-China" principle as a premise for resuming bilateral talks, but the then-KMT government disagreed, resulting in a six-year interruption in cross-strait talks.

    Whether the Beijing leadership is willing to set aside the dispute will be crucial for any resumption of cross-strait talks in the future, Tung forecast.

    The "1992 consensus", which according to the KMT means "one China, with each side having its own interpretation of its meaning, " resulted from a November 1992 meeting in Hong Kong between the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) and the Taipei-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) . The conclusion reached by the two bodies was intended as a means of side-stepping the conflict over the political status of Taiwan.

(By Luis Huang)

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