Wen: Chen Shui-bian's move 'dangerous, deceptive'
Updated: 2006-03-14 10:24
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao gave a stern warning to Chen Shui-bian concerning the Taiwan leader's secessionist activities. Wen says Beijing is paying close attention to the situation in the island and is prepared to take action if necessary.
Wen said if Chen were to give up his pursuit for Taiwan independence, Beijing would be ready to engage in political talk with any party, including Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progress Party.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao answers a question during a press conference after the conclusion of the annual session of the National People's Congress in Beijing, March 14, 2006. The annual meeting of the nation's top lawmaking body closed Tuesday at the Great Hall of the People. [Xinhua]
Wen made the remarks at a press conference held in the Great Hall of People in downtown Beijing after the Fourth Annual Session of the Tenth National People's Congress(NPC) ended.
"The negotiations will be held on an equal footing, and there is no question as one side will swallow up the other one," Wen said.
"No matter what party affiliations they may have, no matter who they are, what they said or did in the past, so long as they are committed to the one-China principle, we are ready to have dialogues and negotiations with them, even including those from the Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan," Wen said.
Chen scrapped a policy-making council on reunification with the mainland in late February.
Wen said Chen's move to scrap the reunification council and reunification guidelines was "risky, dangerous and deceptive", against the will of people, and endangered peace and stability in the area. Wen said Chen, in the end, will lose popular support from his constituency because of his secessionist activities.
"It's a grave affront to the one-China policy," Wen said.
He said the Taiwanese leader is making trouble that is affecting both the island and the cross-Strait ties. Wen believes Chen is trying to restrict and block cross-Strait exchanges, which may harm Taiwan's interests.
Wen said China will never tolerate the secession of Taiwan from the motherland, and will do its best to seek for peaceful reunification.
** Pledge to Continue Reform
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao pledged that China will continue to implement its reform and opening-up policy, and endeavor to build the country into a well-off state with its own characteristics.
"China has no way out by retreating (from reform), but to go forward" in facing different and amounting difficulties or setbacks, Wen said, before he fed questions from foreign and Chinese journalists at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Tuesday morning.
The annual 10-day session of the lawmaking body, the National People's Congress, concluded in Beijing Tuesday, with the legislators approving the Eleventh Five-Year development plan for China from 2006-2010 by an overwhelming majority. The plan highlights a government investment shift from better developed urban areas to poorer rural regions in the coming years.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao listens to a question during a news conference after the closing session of National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in China's capital Beijing March 14, 2006. Wen pledged on Tuesday to press that China will continue to implement its reform and opening-up policy, and endeavor to build the country into a well-off state with its own characteristics. [Reuters]
The Chinese premier said it is a tradition that the country and its people, while staying in stable social environment and on its ascent, are good at thinking of the uncertainties, potential risks and hidden problems.
Wen said that he and his administration are thankful of the people's popular support, and what "saddened him most" in the past three years as China's premier is that the government could have done better to solve some of people's concerns, especially about medical care, education, housing and work safety.
** New Countryside
Wen stressed the importance of building new socialist countryside in the coming years to sustain a rapid economic growth in the future.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao holds his watch as he extends his news conference for two more questions after the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in China's capital Beijing March 14, 2006. The annual meeting of the nation's top lawmaking body closed Tuesday at the Great Hall of the People. [Reuters]
"The issues concerning agriculture, rural areas and farmers are fundamental ones bearing on the overall China's modernization drive," Wen said. Building the new socialist countryside refers to putting agriculture and rural areas "more prominently on the agenda of China's modernization drive."
Apart from completely rescinding agricultural taxes, China plans to earmark nearly 340 billion yuan (US$43 billion) for agriculture, rural areas and farmers in 2006, 42.2 billion yuan more over last year, according to Wen's work report at this year's NPC session.
In building new socialist countryside, democratic rights of farmers should be safeguarded, especially their rights on land production and management, Wen said.
China's governemnt must render harsh punishment to those who illicitly seize land from the farmers, Wen said.
** Japanese leaders responsible for stalled bilateral ties
In response to a question on China-Japan relations, the premier admitted that bilateral ties between the two countries has been running up with difficulties.
It will be very difficult for the Sino-Japanese relations to make progress if the issue of Japanese leaders' visits to a shrine worshipping war criminals can not be well resolved, Wen said.
It is not the Chinese nor the Japanese people, but the leaders of Japan, to blame for the souring Sino-Japanese ties, Wen said at the press conference.
The premier stressed that the China-Japan relations could "hardly develop in a smooth manner" unless the issue of Japanese leaders' visits to Yasukuni Shrine worshipping class-A WWII war criminals can be well addressed.
It is China's unswerving effort to develop friendly Sino-Japanese relations from generation to generation, Wen said.