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(From BBC Monitoring International Reports)
At a press conference in Beijing, Zhang Mingqing, spokesman for mainland China's Taiwan Affairs Office, denounced Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian for not showing sincerity to improve relations in his 20 May inauguration speech and warned that peace between the two sides was at risk. The following is the text of the news conference sponsored by the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, broadcast live by Chinese CCTV-4 on 24 May
[Zhang Mingqing] Good morning, friends from press circles. Today, the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office is holding a news conference.
On 17 May, the Chinese Communist Party [CCP] Central Committee Taiwan Affairs Office and the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office were authorized to issue a statement on current cross-strait relations.
The statement clearly expounded our stance on the issue of current cross-strait relations. The statement pointed out that Taiwan independence will bring no peace and separatism will bring no stability. We will never compromise on our insistence on the one-China position, never give up our efforts for peaceful talks, never change our sincerity of jointly seeking cross-strait development with Taiwan compatriots, never waver in our will to firmly defend state sovereignty and territorial integrity and never tolerate Taiwan independence.
The statement also, in a friendly manner, put forward seven bright prospects that may bring about the stable development of cross-strait relations under the one-China premise, as well as pointed out the two roads that the Taiwan leader must choose.
The statement fully realized our utmost sincerity in promoting the development of cross-strait relations, clearly expressed the common will and strong determination of the 1.3 billion Chinese people in maintaining state unity and of resolutely opposing any Taiwan independence separatist acts, thereby attracting a high degree of attention from people at home and abroad.
Following the issuance of the 17 May statement there have been many positive comments from both sides of the Strait, as well as from the international media. I think the statement is a major document of our Taiwan work. But comments from various circles [break in audio transmission] and other opinions. Relevant authorities decided that the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office should hold a news conference to express the views of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office. That is why we are holding this news conference two days in advance [of the regularly-scheduled Wednesday news conference].
Now I will reply to your questions regarding the 17 May statement. Let us begin the news conference.
[Unidentified Taiwanese reporter] Mr Spokesman, after President Chen Shui-bian gave his 20 May statement, in your opinion, if the 17 May statement of the two offices [State Council Taiwan Affairs Office and Central Committee Office for Taiwan Affairs] wanted President Chen Shui-bian to make [a decision between] two choices, then has President Chen Shui-bian made a choice? If he did not make a choice, then what kind of attitude would the mainland side use to look at this 20 May statement? Thank you.
[Zhang] We believe the "one-China" principle is the foundation for developing cross-strait relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. The most critical issue facing the development of cross-strait relations today is to accept or not accept the "one-China" principle. Yet, Chen Shui-bian's 20 May speech refused to admit that the mainland and Taiwan both belong to one China. Although the words "each side [of the Taiwan Strait], a [separate] country" did not appear in his speech, the entire speech was full of the implication that Taiwan is an independent country. This clearly shows that he has not given up the Taiwan independence stance and did not really demonstrate sincerity to improve cross-strait relations.
[Unidentified Chinese reporter] Mr Spokesman, in his 20 May inauguration speech, Chen Shui-bian did not mention formulating a constitution via referendum in 2006. He indicated that issues involving sovereignty, territoriality and …