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    Still Singing Two Tunes

Taiwan says China still singing two tunes

By Lin Chieh-yu

September 7, 2000  Taipei Times

The Presidential Office yesterday reiterated its view that the dialogue between Taiwan and China should be restarted in accordance with the principles of peace and democracy and without preconditions or a predetermined agenda.

Also yesterday, in New York, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, at a breakfast meeting with owners of media groups, appealed to the US government to express its clear support for Taiwan's unification with China. He also said that only if President Chen Shui-bian could accept the "One China" policy, could he agree to a visit to China by Chen or even to the possibility of visiting Taiwan himself.

"China insists on the position represented by the `One China' policy, and almost all countries of the world recognize this policy," said Jiang according to China's official Xinhua news agency.

"Even the US government has repeatedly claimed to support the `One China' policy, so why does this problem remain unsolved?" Jiang asked.

Jiang stressed that since the dispute over Taiwan had become a sensitive and important issue which might influence relations between the US and the PRC, he expected the US government to declare its intention to keep its promise to support the unification of China.

China's Vice Premier Qian Qichen, Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, and Ambassador to the US Li Zhaoxing were also present at the breakfast meeting at which Jiang made his remarks.

Responding to the remarks, Taiwan's Presidential Office said that Beijing's leaders always adopted a "two-faced strategy" in expounding the meaning of the so-called "One China" policy. "They [China's leaders] express different definitions of this policy to Taiwan from those they present to the international community," said Eugene Chien, deputy secretary-general to the president.

Referring to the prospect of resuming negotiations, he went on, "They always impose preconditions, which involve highly contentious and complex legal matters which require further definition."

"We hope that both sides can sit down and communicate without prerequisites, conditions, or even foregone conclusions but only on the basis of democracy and equality," he said Chien said that President Chen had continually expressed goodwill and sincerity since his inauguration on May 20 in order to encourage leaders on both sides to develop creative ideas for resuming dialogue.

"I have to remind people in Taiwan to be careful when listening to the remarks of Chinese leaders," Chien told reporters. "We reiterate," he said, "that due to its two-faced strategy in expounding the `One China' policy, it is hard to understand what the real meaning of China's unification policy is."

 


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