BEIJING, Nov. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- Beijing has heightened its alert against Taipei's pursuit of formal independence, warning that cross-Straits relations will face a severe test in the next few years.
Wang Zaixi, vice-minister of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said Monday that Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian has been advancing his separatist agenda since his re-election in March.
"The coming few years will be a key and highly dangerous period in the development of the Taiwan situation. Cross-Straits relations will face a severe test," Wang said.
"We will keep on high alert for Chen Shui-bian's
splittist moves and will never allow anybody to split Taiwan from China."
He made the comments in a written interview with
Reuters, which was provided to China Daily.
The vice-minister said the biggest threat to
cross-Straits stability comes from the Taiwan leader's pro-independence
timetable to write a new "constitution" through a referendum in 2006 and enact
the document in 2008.
In a bid to cover up his plot to promote formal
independence for the island, Chen recently made an empty call for the resumption
of cross-Straits dialogue and a so-called "code of conduct."
Wang said the mainland has seen through Chen's
double-dealing move, which aims at "fooling international opinion and the
Taiwanese people and winning votes (in the December polls).
"His wish for stable cross-Straits ties is false
while his aim to promote Taiwan independence is real," he stressed.
The senior official suggested that cross-Straits
talks will not be resumed unless Chen accepts the one-China principle that both
Taiwan and the mainland are part of China.
He blamed the failure to break the current
cross-Straits political stalemate on Chen's rejection of the 1992 consensus.
The consensus refers to an informal verbal agreement
reached between the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan
Straits and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation in November 1992.
Under the informal agreement, the two sides of the
Straits adhere to the one-China principle.
Chen, however, has denied the existence of the
consensus in a bid to shun the one-China principle since he took office in May
Bilateral talks can be resumed immediately "if Chen
would clearly acknowledge the precondition as well as the facts, while
discarding his separatist framework to promote 'one country on each side' of the
Straits," Wang said.
Despite his conciliatory remarks, Chen has stepped up
his pro-independence push to alienate the island even more from China.
On Sunday, he pledged to seek UN membership using the
name "Taiwan" if his party wins a majority in the upcoming December 11
Chen told a campaign rally that it was a mistake for
the government to use the name "republic of China" in applying for a seat in the
"Taiwan is a sovereign, independent country and we
should use the name 'Taiwan' to apply to join the UN," local media reports
quoted him as saying.
Taipei's UN bid has failed for 12 years as most
countries in the world commit themselves to the one-China policy that Taiwan is
part of China.
The "republic of China" was kicked out of the United
Nations in 1971, when the General Assembly adopted resolution 2758, which
declared the People's Republic of China "as the only legitimate representatives
Supporters of Taiwan independence -- a core voting
bloc of Chen's Democratic Progressive Party and its ally, the Taiwan Solidarity
Union -- have suggested Taiwan drop the name "republic of China" to reflect its
evolution into a new country.
Meanwhile, Taiwan also plans to re-write its high
school curriculum to separate the history of the island from that of China, as
part of a drive to foster a stronger Taiwan identity.
Under new guidelines to be implemented in the 2006
school year, the "ministry of education" ordered high schools to revise their
textbooks to create a separate book for Taiwan history, which is now included
under Chinese history.
Analysts said the proposed changes to the school
curricula are aimed at severing cultural and historical links between the island
and the Chinese mainland.