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Jiang Zemin Urges Taiwan to Respond to Call for Negotiations



Chinese President Jiang Zemin urged the Taiwan authorities to put national interests first and "respond to our serious call for negotiations between the (Taiwan) straits under the principle of 'one China' at an early date".

At a new year tea party of January 1 sponsored by the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Jiang, also General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, said that it represents the common aspiration of all Chinese to realize complete reunification of the motherland.

"Macao will return to the embrace of the motherland in December of 1999 and, at this very moment, we miss all the more our Taiwan compatriots," Jiang said.

He stressed that "We will continue to stick to the basic policy of 'peaceful reunification and one country, two systems', and to the eight-point proposal for developing relations across the straits and for promoting peaceful reunification of the motherland."

"We will work hard to promote economic, scientific, technological and cultural exchanges and cooperation, and push for the realization of 'three direct links' in mail, shipping and trade between the two sides of the straits," Jiang added.

"We hope that the Taiwan authorities will put national interests first and respond to our serious call for negotiations between the straits under the principle of 'one China' at an early date," he said.

On Hong Kong and Macao, Jiang stressed the importance of continuing to maintain Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, and of making full preparations for the return of Macao, in line with the principle of "one country, two systems" and "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong".

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