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Taiwan's Olive Branches

  • Date:2004-10-10

Significance of President Chen's National Day Address October 10, 2004

President Chen demonstrated confidence, responsibility, sincerity, innovation, and vision in his remarks on cross-Strait relations. The President exhibited goodwill toward China, which could help alleviate tensions across the Strait and prove positive to future cross-Strait relations. The President likewise put forward new ideas and visions on cross-Strait relations that provided a window of new opportunity for future cross-Strait relations.

Important Points Stressed in President Chen’s National Day Address
October 10, 2004

Point 1: Abiding by commitments

Abiding by commitments has been President Chen’s basic position on cross-Strait relations. The commitments that President Chen made during his inaugural speech on May 20, 2000 shall remain unchanged during his term. Although the PRC has not responded positively or with goodwill over past four years, President Chen shall abide by the commitments he made during his inaugural speech in 2000.

In his inaugural speech of May 20, 2004, President Chen declared with goodwill that as long as the 23 million people agree, no possibility for the development of any form of relations with the other side of the Taiwan Strait should be ruled out. This is a commitment that we shall keep.

Point 2: Concrete actions to reduce hostility across the Taiwan Strait

“Peace and Stability” are the goals and main pillars of our policy. During President Chen’s term of office, this policy shall remain unchanged.

In terms of concrete ways in which to reduce hostility across the Taiwan Strait, President Chen proposes arms controls; a Code of Conduct across the Taiwan Strait; an end to the state of hostility in the Taiwan Strait; and mutual military confidence-building measures.

Point 3: Paving the way for the “three links”—direct transportation, communications and trade links

Before the establishment of direct transportation between the two sides, chartered passenger and cargo flights could pave the way for the “three links”—i.e., direct transportation, communications and trade links.

Our government is closely monitoring the position and intentions of the Chinese government.

Point 4: Reaching a consensus domestically

A Committee for Cross-strait Peace and Development should be established after the year-end legislative election so that a consensus amongst the governing and opposition parties can be reached; internal disorder avoided; and cross-Strait exchanges and negotiations actively promoted.

Since the ideals of “peace and development” are supported by both governing and opposition parties, all people should cast aside selfish partisanship, and instead discuss the future development of Cross-strait relations in the interests of the long-term peace and prosperity of our country.

Point 5: Resuming cross-Strait negotiations on the existing basis (i.e., on the basis of the 1992 meeting in Hong Kong)

In 1992, representatives from either side of the Taiwan Strait held a dialogue in Hong Kong in order to help realise the Koo-Wang Talks. We hope all people can continue to support the attitude shown at that time in order to resume cross-Strait talks.

Both Taiwan and China should exhibit goodwill to create an environment engendered upon "peaceful development and freedom of choice." Extending an olive branch to China in his National Day address, the President has proposed a new idea to improve cross-Strait relations and open the window of opportunity for cross-Strait negotiations. Since “peace and development” are the common mindset and language shared by both sides of the Strait, we earnestly urge China to respond to the goodwill exhibited by the President in a proactive, positive manner.