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Speech at the Symposium Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of ‘Wang-Koo Talks’

I would like to express my warm welcome and thanks to you for attending this symposium. Ten years ago, Mr. Wang Daohan and Mr. Koo Chenfu held an historical meeting in Singapore, signaling a historically important step forward in the development of relations across the Straits. Ten years later, it is also meaningful for us to hold a symposium to commemorate the ‘Wang-Koo talks’. At this very moment, we naturally recall the assistance and support provided by the Singaporean government for the success of the ‘Wang-Koo Talks’. We would like to take this opportunity to convey our gratitude.  

I. Held 10 years ago, ‘Wang-Koo talks’ is the highest level talks between the two sides of the Straits since 1949, representing an historical important step forward in the development of cross-Strait relations. At that time, in order to meet the common desire of the compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits and in Hong and Macao and the overseas Chinese, that cross-Straits contact should be developed and both sides’ relationships should be improved, China Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits started their initiatives promoting the talks between high-level officials across the Straits beginning from early 1992.  In November, China Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and Taiwan's Foundation for Exchange Across the Taiwan Straits have verbally expressed a common ground that ‘both sides of the Straits will adhere to the Principle of One China’, i.e. the‘92 Consensus’, which lay a political foundation for the two organizations’ talks on the cross-Straits relations and created a prerequisite for the ‘Wang-Koo talks’. Between April 27 and 29, 1993, the well-known ‘Wang-Koo talks’ was held in Singapore, on which both sides signed ‘Four Agreement’, achieved concrete results for the exchanges in economy, science, technology, cultures, and routine meetings, contact for the two associations and cooperation between the two sides of the Straits. The accomplishment created an active atmosphere for promoting the exchange in economy, trade and non-government organizations, drawing attention and obtaining extensive recognitions from the compatriots of the Straits and the overseas media.

Wang-Koo talks’ success is attributed to the fact that both sides, with a strong sense of duty to history for the country, nation and people, lay down a political foundation for the two associations’ exchange and talks in sincerity and kindness. That is ‘92 Consensus’- ‘both sides of the Straits will adhere to the Principle of One China’, which was orally expressed by both sides. This view was reached on the basis of the attitude of One China Principle accepted by both sides, who took consideration of both interests, temporarily laid aside the controversy about the meaning of China’s politics, and with flexible way sought the common ground while keeping the difference. The achievement represented Cross-Straits Chinese’s political wisdom. We value highly this historical experience and accomplishment which is difficult to attain.

‘Wang-Koo talks’ has a long-lasting historical meaning to the contact, negotiation and development of cross-Straits relations. It established a mechanism with which both sides could carry out a systemized negotiation based on the Principle of One China, demonstrating to the world that both sides of the Straits could develop equal consultation while adhering to the Principle of One China. Through negotiation, cross-Straits relations could develop and become stabilized. This set a classical example that two sides of the Straits could have consultations on an equal footing based on One China Principle, fully illustrating that both could develop mutual respect and equal negotiation, enhance mutual trust and accumulate the common understanding based on the One China Principle. It strongly supported the exchanges in economy and trade as well as the non-governmental collaborations, showing that people of both Straits are all Chinese people. The achievement of Wang-Koo Talks will go down in history of China’s peaceful reunification.

II. The mainland China highly appreciated the fruit made by ‘Wang-Koo talks’. In the recent 10 years, it has actively carried out the reached agreements which were made on the meeting and promoted the exchanges in various fields across the Straits. We are pleased to see that visits back and forth by individuals and commodity exchange have expanded vigorously, and understanding that people of the Straits are belonging to the same nation are deeply rooted in people’s minds. Last year, over 3 million people have traveled across the Straits, while commodity exchanges were worth over US $40 billion. The non-governmental exchanges kept growing. A situation in which the economies of the two sides promote, complement and benefit each other is taking shape. By the end of 2002, more than 26 million Taiwanese have entered the mainland China for visiting relatives, traveling, developing contacts and conducting business, and around 770 thousand people from mainland China have gone to Taiwan. The indirect trade volume across the Straits has totaled US $267,9 billion. Taiwan entrepreneurs invested in 55,7 thousand enterprises in the mainland, worth US $61,4 billion in term of contractual investment, with the actual investment of US $33,1 billion. Currently Taiwan has become the fourth largest trade partner for the mainland China and the second largest import market. China has become Taiwan’s largest export market, and the first resources of trade surplus. New improvement has been made in ‘Three Direct Links’. We are promoting the relations and exchanges across the Straits with sincerity.
III. It is regretted that after ‘Wang-Koo Talks’, political dialogue across the Straits has been in stagnation, apparently lagging behind the economic cooperation. January 1995, Chairman Jiang Zemin delivered a speech of ‘Continue to Promote the Reunification of the Motherland’, in which he put forward eight propositions on the development of relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits and the peaceful reunification of China on the current stage. Under this guidance, Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits made a proposal to Taiwan's Foundation for Exchange Across the Taiwan Straits that the second ‘Wang-Koo talks’ be held. However, just before the talks, Lee Tenghui visited USA, fabricating ‘Two States’ activities publicly and damaging heavily the foundation based on which the cross-Straits relations had been developed, and the political atmosphere of cross-Straits consultation. As a result, the second round ‘Wang-Koo talks’ were not able to take place on time, and different levels of talks of the two associations had to been suspended.
September 1997, Chairman Jiang made a proposition with a deep insight that   ‘on the premise that there is only one China, we are prepared to talk with Taiwan authorities about any matter’. In 1998, invited by Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits. Mr. Koo Chenfu visited the mainland China. Wang Daohan and Koo Chenfu held talks twice in Shanghai, and placed a new starting point for the dialogue and negotiation across the Straits. But in 1999, right before President Wang Daohan were prepared to visit Taiwan, on July 9, Lee Tenghui openly stated ‘Two States Theory’, damaging  the political foundation of the connection and negotiation of the two associations. President Wang’s visit had to be suspended again, dialogues had to be stopped, and the mutual visit and routine contact of two sides had to be halted.

After Chen Shuibian took power in March 2000, the mainland China continued its efforts in promoting the dialogue and negotiation across the Straits on the basis of One China Principle, pointing out if Taiwan authorities promises not to stick to ‘Two States Theory’ and adheres to ‘92 Consensuss’, the Chinese government were willing to authorize Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits to have dialogue with groups or personages authorized by the Taiwan authorities. However, Chen Shuibian refused to accept the Principle of One China, advocating openly ‘One China, One Taiwan’, and plotting ‘the Gradual Taiwan Independence’ plan, which led to the stalemate of cross-Straits politics, with talks and dialogue of the two associations unable to resume even to today.  
The fact shows that lack of sincerity and kindness of the Taiwan authorities is the cause of heavy destruction of the negotiation foundation of both sides, and stalemate of cross-Straits relations. After 10 years’ ups and downs, ‘Wang-Koo talks’ could demonstrate significance to cross-Straits relations much more than any period it did.

Acknowledged by the international community, one China is the continuity of China’s history, a reality from the long-term development of cross-Straits relations, and also the common views shared by the both sides. Principle of One China brought about peace across the Straits for 50 years, as well as much closer exchanges in economy, culture and personal contacts, and peace and stability of the Asia-pacific region. We hope that the Taiwan authorities could take an active not passive, promotive not preventive, relaxing not tightening attitude to exchanges across the Straits, reduce the resistance, provide assistance, improve the unbalanced situation in the current economic and political exchanges, and develop cross-Straits relations in a healthy and stable manner.

IV. The history has entered into the 21st century. China’s new generation leaders are guiding the Chinese people to focus on economic construction, concentrating on social development, and making endeavors to build ‘a well-off Society’ . Taiwan issue is always the Chinese people’s concern. Chairman Jiang Zemin announced the guideline for the Taiwan issue and overall requirement for the next period in his report of the 16th National Congress of CPC, calling for both sides to set aside certain political controversy and resume the dialogue and negotiation across the Straits, and putting forward the detailed propositions of ‘Three Could be discussed’ under the Principle of One China, that is ‘We may discuss how to end the cross-straits hostility formally. We may also discuss the international space in which the Taiwan region may conduct economic, cultural and social activities compatible with its status, or discuss the political status of the Taiwan authorities or other issues..’ On March 11, Chairman Hu Jintao pointed out in the 1st Session of the 10th National People's Congress that as long as Taiwan authorities accept the principle of one China, dialogue and negotiation across the Straits could resume. On the basis of One China Principle, we are willing to negotiate at an equal basis, properly resolve the issues concerned by Taiwan side, improve and develop cross-Straits relations.

We are proposing to promote the resumption of the dialogue and negotiation on the basis of One China Principle. This is the key in improving the current relationship across the Straits. We are willing to exchange views on cross-Straits relations and peaceful reunification with various parties and personages in Taiwan.  As long as the Taiwan authorities clearly acknowledges the ‘92 Consensus’, mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and Taiwan's Foundation for Exchange Across the Taiwan Straits could start negotiation again at any time. The Principle of One China should not be avoided. Respecting history, facing the future, seeking the commonality while keeping the difference, and negotiating with practical attitude is the only way of developing cross-Straits relations. Adhering to ‘92 Consensus’, and continuing the dialogue and negotiation mechanism initiated by the ‘Wang-Koo Talks’ will bring about opportunities for the development and stability of cross-Straits relations. Compatriots across the Straits are all Chinese and our own flesh and blood, sharing the same pride and losses. Reunification is the Chinese people’s common wish and inevitable result. Ending separation of the Straits and realizing China’s reunification are the common aspirations of all the Chinese people including Taiwan compatriots and the Chinese residing overseas. I believe, through the concerted efforts of the compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits along with the active support of the Chinese residing abroad, reunification of the motherland could be achieved and the day of the all-around revitalization of Chinese nation will come!

Thank you.

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