Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, called for both sides of the Taiwan Strait to build a community of shared destiny and settle political differences through equal consultations.
Xi made the remarks during a meeting with visiting Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu in Beijing on Monday.
The meeting took place in the Great Hall of the People and is the first between Xi and Chu, bringing broad attention and expectations.
The two sides of the Strait should stick to the path of peaceful development under the 1992 Consensus and oppose “Taiwan independence”, Xi said.
Both sides of the Taiwan Strait, as well as the CPC and KMT, should be confident and increase mutual trust to maintain peaceful development of cross-Strait relations and work together to build a community of shared destiny, Xi said, offering five proposals to accomplish the goal.
Chu agreed the two sides of the Strait are both Chinese and belong to a community of shared destiny.
Chu expressed the hope that both sides can work together, on the basis of the 1992 Consensus, for regional peace, environmental protection and economic integration, so that the progress of cross-Strait relations will benefit more ordinary people including young people and small businesses.
ONE CHINA PRINCIPLE
Adhering to the 1992 Consensus and opposing “Taiwan independence” are the political foundation for cross-Strait relations, Xi said, describing the 1992 Consensus as a prerequisite for the CPC to engage with Taiwan authorities and political parties.
He called for both sides to be on high alert against statements such as “one country on each side” and “one China, one Taiwan”, which will not bring peace or development.
The CPC and KMT should oppose any statements and actions that harm this political foundation and never let them compromise hard-earned peace and development, he said, suggesting the two parties further explore mechanisms to maintain cross-Strait peace.
Xi said the mainland is willing to take the lead in sharing development opportunities with Taiwan compatriots.
“We are willing to give priority to Taiwan in opening-up. Our efforts to open up to Taiwan compatriots will be bigger,” he said.
He called for efforts to create more opportunities for ordinary people, small businesses, farmers, fishermen and young people who want to start their own career. “We will continue to protect the legitimate interests and rights of Taiwan businesses on the mainland and create better environment for their development.”
He also proposed the two sides make proper arrangements concerning Taiwan’s participation in regional economic cooperation without violating the One China Principle.
“We welcome Taiwan’s willingness to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank,” Xi said.
EXCHANGES IN HEART AND SOUL
Xi proposed the two sides improve their people-to-people engagement and strengthen people’s identity regarding Chinese culture, tradition and nation.
Carrying on the same cultural tradition, people from both sides of the Strait should work to build a bridge between their heart and soul, Xi said.
More efforts should be made to ease exchanges between common people, especially for young people to know each other, work with each other and become good friends, he said.
COURAGE TO DEAL WITH POLITICAL DIFFERENCES
Both the CPC and KMT should be brave when facing lingering political differences and difficulties, pool wisdom of compatriots from both sides and actively search for a solution, he said.
“The two sides can consult with each other on an equal basis under the principle of One China, and reach a reasonable arrangement,” Xi said.
The two sides of the Strait, as well as the CPC and KMT, should look to the bigger picture, build up common ground and minimize differences so that they can enhance political mutual trust, Xi said.
The key is to do the right thing when the time is right, he said.
“As long as we have affection and empathy towards our fellows, we will find a solution,” he said.
COMMON MISSION FOR NATIONAL REVIVAL
Xi said he is confident that the Chinese nation will realize its revival in the near future if all Chinese, including people on both sides of the Strait, work together.
“We hope that the CPC and KMT can share the sacred responsibility to realize the revival of the Chinese nation, improve people’s welfare and safeguard peace across the Strait,” Xi said.
The meeting is part of Chu’s first visit to the mainland since he was elected KMT chairman in January. He met with Yu Zhengsheng, top political advisor and member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, on Saturday and attended the 10th Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum in Shanghai on Sunday.
Story by Xinhua