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Li Zhaoxing: No Change in China's Policy on Taiwan Question

(March 2, 2000) Chinese Ambassador Li Zhaoxing  said on March 2 that it’s not right  to say that the Chinese government has changed its policy on Taiwan.

Ambassador Li made these remarks while asked by a Xinhua reporter if   the white paper entitled “The  One-China Principle and the  Taiwan Issue” signals a major change in China’s policy on the Taiwan issue.

Li said that the white paper can help international community better understand our One-China principle. Some in the media have gained a deeper appreciation of the efforts of the Chinese government and people for the “peaceful reunification and one country, two systems.”   But others,  as well as some political figures,  have mistakenly concluded that China has changed its Taiwan policy perhaps because they have not read the full text of the white paper.  And a few may have had an axe to grind by cashing in on this opportunity.

Li added that in an important speech on February  29,  Vice-Premier Qian Qichen denied the foreign press allegations that China's policy on Taiwan has been changed. The white paper clearly states that there is no change in the policy of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems," nor is there any change in the eight-point proposition by President Jiang Zemin.   As to the point that the solution of the Taiwan question can not be delayed indefinitely, this is  our consistent position, not anything new.  Back in October 1984, the late Deng Xiaoping said: "We adhere to seeking the solution of  the Taiwan issue by peaceful means, but we have never given up the  option of using non-peaceful means, and we cannot make such a commitment. What can we do if the Taiwan authorities  never  talk with us? Can we abandon national reunification?"

The reason we made it clear that there should be no indefinitely delaying in the solution of the Taiwan issue is that we want to see headway in the cross-straits relations and to prod  the Taiwan authorities to sit down to negotiate with us,  Li stressed.

Li quoted the white paper as saying that within the framework of one China, any question can be discussed between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits, including the various issues that are of concern to the Taiwan side.

The resolve of the Chinese government and people to fight separatism and “Taiwan independence”, and to uphold the basic principle of “ peaceful reunification, one country, two systems” is firm and consistent. Under One-China principle, it is entirely possible to find a suitable modality of cross-Strait talks on an equal footing, said  Li.

Ambassador Li concluded by asking friends from the media to read carefully the eight-point proposition by President Jiang Zemin and the full text of the white paper.

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