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President Chen's New Year's Day Message (excerpt : cross-strait relations

  • Date:2003-01-01

January 1, 2003 Last November in China, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) convened its "Sixteenth Party Congress," carrying out a smooth transition of power and party reform. This outcome reinforces our belief that steady progress must be maintained on both sides of the Strait in order to ensure the welfare of both our peoples. With this in mind, we hope the government of China will recognize that transparency of institutions is indispensable aspect of sustainable national development. The people must be allowed greater opportunity to take part in public affairs; thus can the foundation be laid for sustainable governance. China's continuing development will have an important impact, not only domestically, but also on Taiwan, East Asia—and the world community. Given the appropriate opportunity, we would be willing to share Taiwan's unique experience in democratization with the political leaders as well as members of society in China. Over the past two years, my administration has pursued stability in cross-strait relations while exploring possibilities for breakthroughs. Let me reiterate the position I have maintained since taking office, that is, that both sides must mutually promote constructive development in cross-strait relations based on the principle of "good-will reconciliation, active cooperation, permanent peace". Given such premise of reconciliation, cooperation and peace, we do not intend to stray from our original pledge to uphold the "Four NOs plus One". Now, each side has proposed its own blueprint for future development. Therefore, today, I wish to make an earnest call for both sides to strive toward building a framework of interaction for peace and stability and to make this a primary goal at this stage of cross-strait development. In these first two decades of the twenty-first century, let us begin by creating a common niche for economic development, thus fostering an environment conducive to long-term engagement. Consultation and promotion of direct transportation links, as well as exchanges on other relevant economic issues, could constitute a first step forward and set the stage for further economic and cultural interaction. This would enable both sides to work together, abiding by the principle of "democracy, parity, and peace", in an effort to resolve longer-term issues through existing foundations and with increasing confidence.