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Early Political Negotiations Across Taiwan Straits Urged

Tang Shubei, executive vice-president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), said on October 8, 1996 in Beijing that only early political negotiations will restore stability and develop relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits.

He said, "We hope Taiwan authorities will stop pushing for 'two Chinas' or 'one China, one Taiwan' and provide a more favorable atmosphere for cross-straits negotiations."

He pointed out that Taiwan has always refused to negotiate an end to the state of hostilities, and that it is time for them to do something practical.

As an unofficial organization, Tang said, his association is willing to make procedural arrangements for political negotiations between the two sides, and to try to find a way that is acceptable to both sides.

In referring to the talks between ARATS and Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), Tang said that talks between the two organizations' leaders in April, 1993 was a significant step in developing cross-straits relations.

But their negotiations were of no avail because of interference by Taiwan authorities, he said, adding that sticking to "one China" principle is the prerequisite for the realization of peaceful reunification.

The "one China" principle has two key points, he explained: One is that there is only one China in the world, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of it, and that China's sovereignty and territory cannot tolerate separation. The other is that "we are not against Taiwan making unofficial contacts with foreign countries in the economy and arts, but we are opposed to Taiwan authorities' so-called 'expanding international living space' with the idea of creating 'two Chinas' or 'one China, one Taiwan'".

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