Press Release: Chinese Leader on the affairs of the Tibet Autonomous Region and the relations across the Taiwan Straits(04/18/08)
2008/04/18

1. Tibet Autonomous Region and the Dalai Lama

Chinese President Hu Jintao expounded on Chinese Government's position on the affairs of the Tibet Autonomous Region and the Dalai Lama during his meeting with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in Sanya, Hainan Province of China on April 12.

President Hu pointed out that the matters relating to Tibet Autonomous Region is purely an internal affair of China. The issue between the Chinese Central Government and the Dalai clique is not one of minority, religion or human rights. It is an issue of safeguarding the unity of China against splittist attempts. The incidents in Lhasa and a few other places in TAR were not "peaceful demonstrations" or "non-violence" as some people alleged, but undisguised violent crimes. No responsible government would sit on their hands while rioters committed violent crimes that seriously violated human rights, disrupted public order and threatened and harmed the lives and properties of innocent citizens.

President Hu also stressed that the Central Government of China has kept the door to dialogue with the Dalai Lama open. The obstacle to contacts and talks is not on our side but on the side of the Dalai clique. If the Dalai Lama is sincere, he should show his sincerity with real action. As long as he stops the activities of splitting the country, stops plotting and inciting violent activities, and stops undermining the Beijing Olympics, we are ready to continue the contacts and talks with him at any time.

Prime Minister Rudd emphasized that Australia completely recognizes China's sovereignty over Tibet and Taiwan and there will be no change to the one China policy of the Australian Government. Australia wants to be a real friend of China. Developing friendly ties and cooperation with China is Australia's long-term strategy. Prime Minister Rudd also extended his wishes for a successful Olympic Games in Beijing.

2. Cross Straits relationship and economic cooperation

President Hu Jintao met with the Delegation of the Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation headed by Mr. Hsiao Wan-chang on April 12, and expounded on Chinese Government position on the relations and economic cooperation between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits.

President Hu said that the mainland first advocated for economic exchanges and cooperation between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits as early as 30 years ago. Since the mutual isolation between the people on both sides was broken up in the 1980s, there have been remarkable achievements in the economic exchanges and cooperation for two decades, leading to mutually beneficial and win-win results. Facts have fully shown that economic exchanges and cooperation is the most dynamic factor in the cross-Straits ties and the most effective means to advance the well-being of the people and expand the shared interests of the two sides.

President Hu pointed out that there had been ups and downs in the cross-Straits relations in the past 8 years due to reasons known to all. The economic exchanges and cooperation had been subject to serious disruptions. This is certainly not desirable to the people on both sides. Right now, there is an important historic opportunity for the economic exchanges and cooperation. The people on both sides should seize the rare opportunity, work together to meet the challenges of increased economic competition around the world, strengthen cooperation and strive for win-win results. We will continue to promote economic and cultural exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits, move forward the talks on weekend charter flights and mainland tourists to Taiwan, work for the well-being and safeguard the lawful rights and interests of the Taiwan compatriots, and promote the resumption of consultations and negotiations between the two sides.

President Hu stressed that achieving peaceful development of cross-Straits relations reflects the common aspiration and interests of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits. The current relations between the two sides are moving toward peace and stability, and there is a greater aspiration for stronger exchanges and cooperation. This is the popular will and the trend of the times. The people on both sides belong to the same family. They are of the same blood and share a common destiny. They should take the future of the cross-Straits relations into their own hands. Our determination to push for peaceful development of cross-Straits relations will never waver. It is hoped that the people on both sides will join hands and work hard to usher in a new phase of peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.

Mr. Hsiao said that for a long time, economic and trade ties have played a positive and stabilizing role in the cross-Straits relations. People had to deal with various unfavorable factors to make the hard-won progress in the economic exchanges and cooperation. Now, there is a new beginning. He hopes that the weekend charter flights will be launched and mainland tourists will be able to come to Taiwan as soon as possible, and that the consultations between the two sides will be resumed at an early date so as to benefit exchanges and cooperation. Realizing direct shipping and flight and normal economic and trade ties between the two sides will be an inevitable way forward. This will have a long-term significance as it will symbolize the first-ever all-round and open contact between the people on both sides in nearly 6 decades. He hopes to see the two sides face the reality, explore the future, set aside differences and seek win-win results so as to usher in a new era of cross-Straits relations featuring mutual trust, mutual accommodation, mutual assistance and mutual benefit.

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