Go TO Content

Mainland Affairs Council

Others

Full text of MAC Chairman Jaushieh Joseph Wu's speech at the year-end press conference

Friend from the Media and Dear MAC Colleagues: Good afternoon to you all. I am very glad and honored, to have this opportunity to share with you about what MAC has done and the development of cross-strait interaction in the past year. In the past year, Taiwan has carried out two important elections—the presidential election in the first half of the year and the legislative election in the second half of the year—marking the milestones on the road of Taiwan's march toward democracy and constitutional government. Under a stabilizing and maturing domestic political environment is growing mature, Taiwan has in the past year, made significant effort toward efforts made for the promotion of peaceful development across the strait. President Chen Shui-bian has offered his good gestures and expressed his expectations for improved cross-strait relations in his inaugural speech, in his National Day message, and also in his address at a high-level national security conference. He has onlined a peace-oriented foundation of cross-strait development for the next four years, pledged to maintain the stability and status quo in the Taiwan Straits, and proposed to establish a stable, peaceful framework for interaction between the two sides. These major manifestations have accurately reflected measure our sustained effort and strong desire to improve cross-strait relations. The policy goals of the Council of Mainland Affairs(MAC) are "goodwill conciliation, intensive cooperation, and permanent peace." Moving toward these goals, MAC has actively promoted measures conducive to the broadening of cross-strait relation. First, we have under the principles of mutual respect and pragmatic consultation, successfully reached the goal of starting "two-way, reciprocal, and nonstop" chartered flights of passenger aircraft during the Lunar New Year holiday. This achievement is not only unprecedented but also has an inspiring effect on future dialogues and even on the normalization of relations between the two sides. Second, we have taken some signpost measures to promote information, cultural and educational, and economic and trade exchanges with the Mainland. These include allowing the China News Service to station a reporter for news coverage in Taiwan as a part of our effort to promote benign information exchange; promoting tourism to stimulate local economy by taking advantage of the opening of the mini-Three Links. Besides, we have drawn up the "regulations governing the permission for Mainland personnel to come to Taiwan for business activities," revised the "regulations governing the permission of doing stock and futures business between Taiwan and the Mainland," and fully implemented the management on advertising activities for Mainland goods in Taiwan, relaxed the restrictions on inviting Mainland organizations and businesspeople to Taiwan, and opened the application for domestic stock and security business to invest or set up branches on the Mainland. All of these are examples of our government's concrete actions, goodwill, and determination to promote reciprocal favored treatment in the field of cross-strait exchange. Despite our goodwill and significant efforts, the Mainland apparently has never loosened its oppressive hands on Taiwan. Since last year, efforts have been strengthened in arms buildup, military deployment aimed at Taiwan, suffocating Taiwan in the international community, or suppressing Taiwan's international activities. On the contrary, these measures have become even harsher than before. Recently, the Mainland announced to formulate an Anti-separation law in an attempt to unilaterally change the status quo between the two sides and sabotage the stability and peace in the Taiwan Straits. This constitutes a significant move toward the destruction of the exchange foundations built up in the past several years and offset all our efforts made in improving the relations between the sides. Since the Mainland announced its intention to enact an Anti-separation law, we have seen individuals distort and misinterpret Taiwan's "constitutional reform" and "revision of the Referendum Act," which are designed to strengthen the democratic system and promote national modernization. We can see that once the Anti-separation law is enacted, the Mainland authorities will inevitably resort to their narrow perception and unilaterally and randomly define Taiwan's every move and take irrational steps accordingly. If this is the case, it is hard for us to expect much in the development of cross-strait relations. The success in the negotiations charter flights have proved that both sides can engage in negotiation and solve their problems by not setting any political pre-condition, by treating each other according to the principle of reciprocity, and by putting aside disputes and respecting each other as equals. The enactment of the Anti-separation law is a move which totally contradict this direction. If the Mainland authorities ignore the reaction of Taiwanese people and proceed single-mindedly, it will jeopardize the precious opportunity for improving cross-strait relations created by the achievement of charter flight and even setback the relations against the wishes of all. The development across the Taiwan Strait is a constant concern of the international community, but maintaining the stability and status quo is by no means the responsibility of any one side. It can be done only through vigorous cooperation, dialogue, and communication between the two sides. This afternoon, the Mainland is marking the 10th anniversary of Jiang Zemin's "Eight Points" in Beijing. In hindsight, we can see that what we have proposed since 2000, including cross-strait dialogue and cooperation, promotion of the Three Links, the signing of an agreement for the protection of the rights and interests of Taiwanese businesspeople in the Mainland, match considerably with the contents of Jiang Zemin's Eight Points, indicating that common ground does exist for forging a consensus. Nevertheless, in the ten years since the "Eight Points" were proposed, cross-strait relations have continued to deteriorate. Now that Mr. Hu Jintao has taken entire control, I sincerely call on the Beijing authorities to seize the opportunity to step out of the old frame of the "Eight Points" and join us to create a new win-win situation across the Straits. Many signs indicate that this is a crucial year in cross-strait relations. In the eyes of the people in the world, as well as us who advocate peace, development, and other mainstream values, maintaining stability and peace across the Taiwan Straits has long become a fundamental consensus. To this end, we will continue to commit to conciliation and open policy to expand exchanges in the field of culture, education, economy and trade in order to strengthen the foundations of cross-strait cooperation. In addition, we hope to begin further negotiations and dialogue on substantive topics in order to foster mutual trust. At the same time, we cannot afford any more delay in establishing a military mechanism of mutual trust and a common code of conduct in order to avoid conflicts due to miscalculation. Without a doubt, peaceful development across the Strait is a common wish of the people in Taiwan. President Chen has expressed his willingness to invite the opposition parties and distinguished persons in society to organize a "Commission for Peaceful Cross-Strait Development" in hopes this would forge a consensus among the government, the opposition and all the people. He also hopes this would lead to the formulation of an enduring set of "Guidelines for Cross-Strait Peaceful Development" to serve as the basis for vigorously promoting new cross-strait relations of peace, stability, permanent development and prosperity. In the eight month of my term as the chairman of the Council of Mainland Affairs, you my friends from media have published many reports and share with me your valuable opinions. Here, I must thank each one of you and wish you success and prosperity, and good health for your family in the year ahead. Now, feel free to share your views with me. Thank you.