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A spokesman for the Chinese Central Government, Zhang Mingquing, of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council of the PRC, addressed the current situation at a press conference on October 13th of this year.

"Since May," he said, 'the Taiwan authorities led by Chen Shui-bian has been gradually escalating separatist activities for Taiwan independence, both in Taiwan and internationally,' listing a number of activities. These include:

  1. Trying to separate Taiwan from China through the so-called constitutional reform
  2. Trying to reduce the prominence of China in the official title of Taiwan.
  3. Continuing to push for Taiwan joining the United Nations.
  4. To speed up arms purchases and even clamor for war with the mainland.
  5. Denial of the fact that Taiwan is part of China and obstinately sticks to his stand of 'one country on each side across the Straits.'
  6. He quotes an October 10th speech by Chen that 'The Republic of China is Taiwan and Taiwan is the Republic of China,' promoting separatist activities for 'Taiwan independence,' which constitutes the biggest threat to security to the Asian Pacific region.
  7. He said finally that the mainland has been repeatedly calling for early resumption of cross-Strait dialogue and talks on the basis of the One China principle and shelving political disputes. Chen Shui-bian's proposal for State-to-State negotiations does not reflect the fact that there are no two sovereignties that would legitimize equal level discussions. Taiwan, historically, is a province of China and can negotiate for peaceful relations in that context with a promise of prosperity and stability for the Asian Pacific region and hence, the world.

As we write, Chen Shui-bian has indicated that he may quit the party. He took full responsibility for the defeat of the coalition of political parties advocating moves towards separation. "People have made their choices. Let's take it as a starting point for cooperation between the ruling and opposition parties," Chen said in a televised speech. "Let's turn our competition into a force for pushing the nation forward." The opposition leader Lien Chan celebrated his group's victory in the last four major elections, "the moment we've waited for has finally arrived... today we saw extremely clearly that all the people want stability in this country and want to continue to develop." No doubt, Taiwanese people are recognizing that they are part of a country that is giving leadership in the 21st century to stability and economic development, which has already accrued to their benefit.

It is now possible that US military sales to Taiwan will diminish under new pressures against the 18 billion dollar request of the Chen Administration. The Beijing government has, in its diplomatic wisdom, maintained it dignity.

We are left with the words of Zhang Mingqing at his press conference preceding the October 25th meeting of President Hu and Secretary of State Powell: "'Taiwan independence' constitutes the biggest threat to security across the Taiwan Strait and in the Asia-Pacific region... separatist activities have aroused strong indignation among the 1.3 billion Chinese people... stop 'Taiwan independence' activities, cross-Strait relations will usher in bright prospects of peace, stability and development... the mainland had been repeatedly calling for early resumption of cross-Strait dialogue and talks on the basis of the One China Principle and shelving political disputes. In 1992, the Association for Relations across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) of the mainland and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) of Taiwan reached the consensus verbally to the One China Principle... if the Taiwan authorities acknowledge the '1992 Consensus', cross-Strait dialogue, talks can be resumed immediately... The mainland is willing to increase exchanges, cooperation, mutual understanding and mutual trust with Taiwan compatriots and jointly usher in a mutual benefit and win-win prospect across the Strait... 'Taiwan independence' and separatist activities will undermine peace and stability... 'Taiwan independence' will never bring security, stability and prosperity to Taiwan compatriots, but serious disaster... He called on the Taiwan compatriots to join the resolute fight against 'Taiwan independence' and safeguard cross-Strait peace."

They accomplished this by electing a legislature that represents a peaceful future and program for Taiwan and China as a whole.

There is no doubt that the possibility for peaceful reunification of China has taken a positive turn that will require rethinking by the second Bush Administration. There will be pressures to slow up the economic development of China as a whole; but the separation of Taiwan is no longer in the sights.

December 16, 2004

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Professor Sidney J Gluck is former chairman, New York Chapter, US-China Peoples Friendship Association; emeritus professor with the Social Science Faculty, New School For Social Research; and is currently chairman, US-China Society of Friends.

Email Sidney at sjgluck {at} aol {dot} com



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Professor Sidney Gluck (c) Sandi BachomI am honored to have obtained Professor Sidney Gluck's (right) permission to allow me to repost here some of his work and interview related to China and socialism. Professor Gluck is professor emertius at the New School University in New York. A classical Marxist, Gluck has been studying China for 60 years in history and modern development. He has lectured all over the U.S. and still welcomes engagement at the age of 94 – photo © Sandi Bachom

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