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NO.5 (March 1, 2004)

  • President Hu Jintao Addresses French National Assembly
  • Chinese Government's Policy on Taiwan

    President Hu Jintao Addresses French National Assembly

    --Chinese President Hu Jintao paid a state visit to France on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-French diplomatic relations. On January 27, Hu delivered a speech at the French National Assembly, becoming the first Asian leader to address the lower house of French parliament. The following are slightly abridged excerpts from Hu's speech.
           First of all, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese Government and Chinese people, to extend my best wishes to all present at the meeting and to the great French people.
           The French and Chinese are both great nations with a long-standing history and culture. Although the two countries are located separately in the continents of Europe and Asia, the exchange between the two peoples goes back to ancient times. French literary giant Francois Rabelais wrote inDive bouteille500 years ago that the magic bottle of intelligence was in China. In their epoch-making works, 18th century French enlightenment thinkers Voltaire and Montesquieu all made interesting descriptions of China in the fields of ethics, science, technology and folklores. Propelled by these great thinkers, a "China craze" once appeared in Europe, lasting as long as half a century. Since the 19th century, French civilization has been introduced to China in a massive way. The works of Voltaire, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Descartes, Hugo, Balzac and Alexandre Dumas have been repeatedly translated into Chinese, opening a wide window for the Chinese to understand the West. In modern times, the French Revolution greatly enlightened the Chinese people in their fight to overthrow the feudal autocratic rule. In the early 20th century, numerous Chinese students, harboring the lofty ambition of national salvation, went France to study, with hopes to find ways to transform China and seek inspiration for modern arts. Many outstanding leaders of Chinese revolution emerged from them, including Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping and Chen Yi, so did a number of renowned Chinese literary and art giants such as Ba Jin, Qian Zhongshu, Xu Beihong and Xian Xinghai. The long-term exchange and mutual use for reference of the cultures of the two countries have laid a solid foundation for the development of friendship between the two peoples and the progress of Sino-French relationship.
           Forty years ago, Chairman Mao Zedong and President Charles de Gaulle, showing a great foresight, agreed that the two countries established diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level, hence opening a new chapter in the annals of Sino-French relations. Over the past 40 years, thanks to the concerted efforts made by several generations of leaders and personages in various circles of the two countries, Sino-French relations have withstood the tests of time and constant changes in the inter-national situation. Particularly in recent years, noticeable results have been achieved in the exchange and cooperation between the two countries in various fields, and bilateral relations have become increasingly mature and consolidated.
           My present visit to France on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries is meant to show the world that it is China's set policy to consolidate and develop Sino-French relations and that China will make unremitting efforts for this.
           The French nation has made tremendous contributions to human civilization and progress. French culture, with great accommodation and innovative capacity, is a gem of human culture. In the present world, France, with its developed economy, advanced science and technology, unique culture and independent diplomatic policy, is playing an important role. China attaches great importance to Sino-French relations. It will, as always, closely examine bilateral relations from strategic and long-term perspectives, and is ready to make joint efforts with France to continuously advance bilateral relations to an ever-higher level. During this visit, I have held extensive and in-depth talks with President Jacques Chirac. We agree with consensus that under the present condition that profound changes are taking place in the international situation, to promote the development of Sino-French comprehensive strategic partnership in depth not only conforms with the fundamental interests of the two peoples, but also benefits world peace, stability and prosperity. For this, I suggest the two sides mainly make efforts in the following three aspects:
           First, strengthening mutual political trust and intensifying strategic cooperation. China and France, as permanent members of the UN Security Council, are countries exerting major influences on international affairs. The two countries all agree to promote world multi-polarity, propose to safeguard the authority of the United Nations, and are willing to promote the establishment of a new international political and economic order in accordance with the desire of the people of all countries. Our two countries have reached extensive consensus and share common interests in coping with various challenges faced by mankind and in appropriately handling major international affairs. China is ready to strengthen dialog and consultation and tighten cooperation with France in such major international affairs as anti-terrorism, prevention of nuclear proliferation, cracking down on transnational crimes, promoting common development and strengthening the role of the UN, and strive to maintain world peace and promote common development.
           Second, intensifying economic and trade cooperation to achieve mutual benefit and complement. China, the largest developing country in the world, is going all out to advance the modernization drive and provides an extensive market. France is a developed country, with its economy, science and technology entering the front ranks in the world. In many fields, its advanced technologies lead the world. The economies of our two countries are greatly complementary, and there is tremendous potential for economic and trade cooperation. Forty years ago, the volume of trade between the two countries was only USS100 million. Last year, it exceeded US$13 billion. There are 2,302 French-funded projects in China, with US$6.14 billion in actual investment leading other European countries. However, frankly speaking, the potential in Sino-French economic and trade cooperation has not been fully tapped, in contrast with the two countries' position in international trade and the complementary nature of the two economies. China has developed a large import market with annual import volume exceeding US$410 billion. The further development of China will provide more business opportunities for countries worldwide, including France. China is ready to intensify all-round cooperation with France in various fields, including high technology, agriculture, environmental protection, and small and medium-sized enterprises. It will also continuously explore new areas of cooperation, constantly raise bilateral economic and trade relations to higher levels, and promote the two countries to become stable partners of economic and trade cooperation.
           Third, strengthening cultural exchange and enriching the content of contacts. Cultural exchange is a major channel of contacts between different nations and is also an important foundation for the harmonious coexistence of various nations. The mutual use for reference and merging of different cultures is of great importance to enhancing mutual understanding among the people of various countries. China and France, boasting brilliant cultures with distinct national flavors of their own, are mutually attracted by each other's culture. To develop cultural exchange in depth is conducive not only to propelling the prosperity and progress of the two countries' cultures, but also to promoting the dialog and exchange between different civilizations in the world and to the harmony and progress of human society. The China Cultural Year now being staged in France vividly shows to the French people the charm of ancient Chinese culture and the vitality of China's modern culture. The French Cultural Year will be staged in China in October this year. I believe this activity will be well received by the Chinese people. We are willing to further strengthen Sino-French cultural exchange, promote the mutual use for reference of the great civilizations of China and France, and let the two great civilizations bloom in more radiant splendor among myriads of cultures in the world.
           The Chinese nation has created its brilliant civilization in its over 5,000 years of history, making an ever-lasting contribution to the progress of human society. Prior to the 16th century, China had led the world in economic, scientific and technological development. After the 16th century, however, China gradually fell behind in the tide of rapid scientific, technological and cultural development in the world. After the mid- 19th century, owing to the corruptive feudal rule and the invasion of foreign powers, China was gradually degraded into a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country. To change their miserable fate, the Chinese people had waged prolonged struggles. In the mid-20th century, the Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, eventually won the victory of the new democratic revolution, established New China in which they have become masters of their own, and embarked on the road of socialism. Some 25 years ago, under the leadership of Mr. Deng Xiaoping, China began to exercise new policies of reform and opening-up to explore a new road for the development of socialism, and spared no effort to advance the modernization drive. The effort has achieved results that have attracted worldwide attention.
           After 25 years of ceaseless efforts between 1979 and 2003, China's social productive forces and comprehensive national strength continuously rose to new levels, the socialist market economic system initially took shape, an open economy was formed, various social undertakings developed in an all-round way, and the people's living standards, in general, reached a well-off level. The following specific figures show our achievements. The GDP has soared from US$147.3 billion 25 years ago to the present US$1,400 billion. The annual volume of import and export trade jumped from US$20.6 billion to US$851.2 billion. Foreign capital actually used by the country increased from scratch to the present US$679.6 billion. The country's foreign exchange reserves rose from USS167 million to US$403.3 billion. The poor population in China's rural areas has declined from 250 million to the present 30 million. There was no expressway in China 25 years ago. At present, the mileage of expressways across the country exceeds 29,800 km. The number of fixed telephone subscribers has jumped from 1.92 million to 260 million, while that of mobile phone subscribers now tops 260 million, with 5.25 million added monthly. These figures indicate that fundamental changes have taken place in China over the past 25 years.
           The key to the tremendous changes in China lies in our persistence in building socialism with Chinese characteristics and in carrying out reform and opening-up, and our effort to continuously eliminate systematic obstacles that stem the development of productive forces, which has inspired the creativity, enthusiasm and initiative of all people and vigorously promoted material, political and spiritual civilizations. The reform waged by China is an all-round reform, which covers all areas including economy, politics and culture. We have carried out the reform of the economic system on the one hand and political restructuring on the other. It is our consistent goal to develop socialist democratic politics. We have clearly stated that without democracy, there will be neither socialism nor socialist modernization. We have been actively advancing political restructuring, with emphasis laid on improving the specific systems of socialist democracy and ensuring the people fully exercise their right to democratic election, democratic decision-making, democratic management and democratic supervision. In recent years, we have achieved noticeable results in the reform of leadership, legislation, administrative management, decision-making, judicial, personnel, grass-roots democracy, and supervision and restriction systems. The Chinese people's citizen and political rights and basic freedom have been safeguarded and guaranteed in accordance with the law. China has joined 21 international human rights conventions. China's National People's Congress (NPC) has approved the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Chinese Government is actively studying major issues related to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. When condition is ripe, it will submit suggestions on its approval to the NPC. We will continue to unswervingly advance political restructuring, implement the strategy of ruling the country in accordance with the law, build a socialist country ruled by law, and consistently develop socialist democratic politics.
           China has achieved remarkable results in reform and opening-up. Nevertheless, with its 1.3 billion people and poor economic foundation, it still faces underdeveloped productive forces and uneven development in different regions. Although its GDP now ranks in the world's first six, its per-capita GDP just exceeds USS1,000, ranking behind 100th in the world. China will still take a long road to achieve modernization and let all people live an affluent life. We have set the development goal for the first two decades of this century, which is to concentrate strength to build a well-off society in an all-round way and increase the GDP to US$4 trillion by 2020 to quadruple that of 2000, with per-capita GDP reaching US$3,000. To achieve this goal, we will, under the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thinking of three represents (to always represent the development trend of China's advanced productive forces, the orientation of China's advanced culture and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people), persist in taking economic construction as the central link, firmly advance reform and opening-up, persist in giving priority to the people's interests, establish the conception of all-round, coordinated and sustainable development, coordinate urban and rural development, coordinate the development between different regions, coordinate economic and social development, coordinate the harmonious development of man and nature, coordinate domestic development and opening-up, continue to develop the socialist market economy, socialist democratic politics and socialist advanced culture, and promote all-round progress of economy and society.
           Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. It is the common desire of all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation to solve the Taiwan issue and realize the complete reunification of China. Taiwan compatriots have the same roots as the people on China's mainland. Related with us by blood, they are our own brothers. We will adhere to the basic principle of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems", and do our best to achieve the peaceful reunification of China. We firmly oppose "Taiwan independence" and allow nobody to split Taiwan from China by any means. We are ready, on the basis of the principle of one China, join efforts with all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation at home and abroad, including Taiwan compatriots, to fight for the complete reunification of China. We highly appreciate the stand of France to adhere to the one-China policy and oppose "Taiwan independence" pursued by Taiwan authorities in the name of "referendum".
           Peace and development represent the main theme of present times, and multi-polarity of the world and economic globalization have become an irresistible trend of development. But today's world is not peaceful and tranquil. We see new development of unilateralism, increasing danger of terrorism, repeated local conflicts and wars of various kinds, the interweaving of traditional and untraditional security factors, increasingly rampant transnational crimes, and the continuous widening of the gap between the North and the South. To cope with these challenges and difficulties, joint efforts of the people of all countries are required. China's diplomatic policies are geared to safeguard world peace and promote common development. China will continue to implement its independent diplomatic policy of peace. We propose that international relations should be democratized, disputes should be solved through dialog and cooperation, and consultation by all countries on an equal footing should be sought in the handling of world affairs, and we are opposed to the practice of resorting to force or to threat of force at every turn. We stand for strengthening international cooperation, eliminating poverty, protecting environment and realizing the common development of the people of all countries.
           Peace is the greatest blessedness of mankind. The Chinese nation has always loved peace. China's development is conducive to safeguarding world peace and promoting common development. China solemnly declared to the world a long time ago that it would never seek hegemony both at present and in the future and that it would remain as a staunch force to safeguard world peace.
           Through more than half a century's development, the EU has become a transnational organization with the highest degree of integration in the world. During various stages of the construction of the EU, France played its key roles. Robert Schuman launched the coal-steel joint operation plan, and Jean Monnet was honored as the "founder of the EU". China supports the integration process of the EU, and hopes that the EU would continue to play its positive role in regional and international affairs. Propelled by France and some other European countries, the relationship between China and Europe has made considerable progress. The sixth meeting of Chinese and European leaders was successfully held in Beijing last October, with the two sides agreeing in unanimity to develop comprehensive strategic partnership. China is ready to further strengthen dialog and cooperation with the EU and all EU member countries, including France, in all fields on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, with an eye to promote the long-term and steady development of bilateral relations.

           Let us make concerted efforts to promote greater development of Sino-French relations in the new century and make contributions to the benefit of Chinese and French peoples and to the building of a more prosperous and stable world.

    Chinese Government's Policy on Taiwan

    --On January 19, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan delivered a speech entitled "Unite Compatriots on Both Sides of the Straits to Fight Jointly for the Reunification of the Motherland" at a forum to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the publication of Jiang Zemin's speech "To Fight Continuously to Propel the Accomplishment of the Great Cause of the Reunification of the Motherland". The following are slightly abridged excerpts from Tang's speech.

           Nine years ago, Comrade Jiang Zemin delivered the important speech "To Fight Continuously to Propel the Accomplishment of the Great Cause of the Reunification of the Motherland", which inherited and developed Comrade Deng Xiaoping's idea of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems". In his speech, Jiang put forward an eight-point proposal on the development of cross-Straits relations and the advancement of peaceful reunification, which fully manifested the determination and sincerity of the CPC and the Chinese Government to unite compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits to jointly accomplish the great cause of the peaceful reunification of the motherland. The speech has been taken as the guiding document for the solution of the Taiwan issue. Over the past nine years, cross-Straits relations have traversed an extraordinary course and developed continuously amidst twists and turns. Today, when we review this important speech made by Comrade Jiang Zemin we realize much more deeply its great historic significance and practical guiding importance in developing cross-Straits relations and advancing the process of the peaceful reunification of the motherland.
           Over the past nine years, we have unswervingly carried out the basic principle of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems", implemented the eight-point proposal, and formulated and put into practice a series of positive and pragmatic policies and measures to promote the development of cross-Straits relations. Now we see more frequent exchanges and closer contacts between compatriots across the Straits. Each year, 3 million Taiwan compatriots visit the mainland and hundreds of thousands of Taiwan compatriots come to the mainland for work, study and residence. The number of mainland compatriots going to Taiwan to visit their family members or carry out exchange activities has also increased year by year. The past years witnessed frequent bilateral exchanges in cultural, educational, scientific, technological and other fields. Particularly, splendid results have been achieved in economic and trade cooperation. The annual volume of bilateral trade has exceeded US$50 billion. The mainland not only became the main source of Taiwan's trade surplus long ago, but also has become Taiwan's biggest export market, while Taiwan has become the mainland's second largest import market. The mainland has absorbed increasing investment from Taiwan compatriots. Progress has also been made in "three direct links" (trade, mail, and air and shipping services across the Taiwan Straits) to varying extent. Thanks to the concerted efforts of compatriots on both sides of the Straits, cross-Straits exchange has been expanded step by step, and the relationship between compatriots across the Straits have become increasingly closer and harmonious. This represents an inevitable trend of the development of cross-Straits relations, which is conducive to maintaining peace in the Taiwan Straits region and promoting the prosperity and stability of the Asia-Pacific Region.
           The development of cross-Straits relations over the past nine years complies with the will of the people and the common interests of compatriots on both sides of the Straits. However, the advancement of cross-Straits relations has consistently been intentionally obstructed and damaged by "Taiwan independence" splittist forces. Particularly in recent years, the leader of Taiwan authorities, rejecting the one-China principle and denying the consensus reached in 1992, has dished out the separatist proposition of "one state on each side". The Taiwan authorities have arbitrarily carried out various activities to promote the "independence of Taiwan in a progressive way" and even launched a timetable for the "independence of Taiwan", which has seriously damaged the foundation for furthering cross-Straits relations and gravely threatened the peace and security in the Taiwan Straits region. The splittist act of the leader of Taiwan authorities has not only harmed cross-Straits relations, but also brought about turbulence to Taiwan's society and economy. Compatriots on both sides of the Straits are all victims of "Taiwan independence" splittist activities.
           The leader of Taiwan authorities claimed, "In order to prevent China's armed invasion into Taiwan and unilaterally change the status quo of cross-Straits relations, it is necessary to promote the March 20 peaceful referendum." This, in fact, aims to vilify the mainland's endeavor for peace and is also a provocative act that will damage cross-Straits relations. At present, the real threat to Taiwan's security does not come from the mainland, but from the unbridled activities toward Taiwan's split from the motherland whipped up by Taiwan authorities. It is the Taiwan splittist forces that threaten to unravel the status quo of cross-Straits relations and endanger peace in the Taiwan Straits region. Taiwan authorities have twisted the mainland's justified efforts to oppose Taiwan's split from the motherland and maintain stability in the Straits as a suppression of Taiwan's democracy and freedom, and use this as an excuse to launch the referendum. Such vilification, which turns the truth upside down, aims to win more sympathy and support for their continuous implementation of a splittist line. Though the leader of the Taiwan authorities called the referendum "defensive" and "peaceful", these provocations, no matter how they were packaged, can only cause confrontation and animosity between the two sides, aggravate the already strained cross-Straits relations and push cross-Straits relations further to the brink of danger. Taiwan's referendum plan runs completely counter to the mainstream desire of Taiwan compatriots for peace, tranquility and prosperity. Instead of deepening Taiwan's democracy, it is a design to mislead and manipulate Taiwan people, and also constitutes a serious threat to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific Region. Thus, inevitably, it has drawn universal opposition of the international community and compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits.
           During the historical process of the development of the Chinese nation, unification has remained as the mainstream. It represents the trend of the times and the desire of the people. As the motherland is becoming increasingly stronger and cross-Straits cooperation is being intensified, the one-China pattern universally recognized by the international community has been consolidated, and any scheme to split Taiwan from the motherland is doomed to failure. We have full confidence that cross-Straits relations will embark on the road of reunification.
           The mainland and Taiwan belong to one China which is the common home of compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits. Compatriots on both sides of the Straits are duty-bound to defend, build and develop our common home. To safeguard the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation and the vital interests of compatriots on both sides of the Straits, we will adhere to the basic principle of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems", carry out in depth the eight-point proposal for the development of cross-Straits relations and the advancement of the process of peaceful reunification of the motherland, unite with the masses of Taiwan compatriots, strive to propel the continuous development of cross-Straits relations and promote the early accomplishment of the great cause of the reunification of the motherland.
           We will unswervingly devote ourselves to the peaceful reunification of the motherland, and strive to realize peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and greatest effort. The 23 million compatriots in Taiwan are our brothers and sisters. No one in the world is more desirous of seeking a peaceful solution to the Taiwan issue than we are. We will seriously work for any thing that is conducive to peaceful reunification. Our clear declaration of our determination and will to achieve the reunification of the motherland aims to safeguard the stability in the Taiwan Straits region, the prospects for cross-Straits peaceful reunification, and the fundamental interests of the whole Chinese nation.
           We stand for resolving the political differences between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits in a spirit of equality and accommodation, and we are ready to push forward cross-Straits dialog and negotiations in a pragmatic and equal-footed manner in line with the one-China principle. Our stand, adhering to the one-China principle, features the greatest accommodation. We hold that there is only one China in the world, and both the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China. China's sovereignty and territorial integrity are not allowed to be cut apart. In fact, Taiwan authorities' stance on "no pre-conditions for cross-Straits talks and negotiations" attempts to renege on the consensus reached by the two sides on the adherence to the one-China principle. That stance fundamentally negates the fact that the two sides belong to one and the same country. Their true motive is to presuppose national split and "Taiwan independence", and to erect obstacles to negotiations.

           We have always proposed that as long as the one-China principle is recognized, cross-Straits talks can cover any subject and the two sides will have complete equality in negotiating status. The talks would be broad and open, even sensitive political issues could be put on the table for full discussion. As long as the two sides, in the context of the one-China principle, negotiate and reach an agreement on officially ending the state of hostility, tensions in the Taiwan Straits could be eased, and the steady growth of cross-Straits relations could be guaranteed. This is the most practical and most effective way to maintain Taiwan's security and ensure peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits region.    

           We hope to see an early realization of the two-way three direct links across the Taiwan Straits in an all-round way and the creation of a new situation to facilitate cross-Straits economic cooperation, which is beneficial to compatriots on both sides of the Straits. The present world sees rapid development of science and technology, accelerated process of economic globalization and regionalization, and ever-intensifying competition of strength. The early realization of the two-way three direct links across the Straits in an all-round way will greatly enhance the competitiveness of the economies of both sides, speed up joint development, and promote the all-round upgrading and rejuvenation of the two economies. This is a good thing that is in the interest of the people and is for mutual benefit. So, it should not be intentionally postponed and obstructed by any means. We take an active attitude toward the establishment of a cross-Straits economic cooperation mechanism with the hope to tighten cross-Straits economic relations. We would like to hear the views and suggestions from various circles in Taiwan. Just as President Hu Jintao has clearly stated, we will make the greatest efforts to promote undertakings as long as they are conducive to Taiwan compatriots' investment and establishment of businesses on the mainland, to cross-Straits exchange and cooperation in economic, scientific, technological, cultural and other fields, and to the advancement of cross-Straits relations and the reunification of the motherland.
           We will continue to implement the principle of "placing hope (of reunification) on the Taiwan people", and continue to unite with the masses of Taiwan compatriots to make ceaseless efforts to promote the peaceful reunification of the motherland and the joint development of the mainland and Taiwan. Our Taiwan compatriots, with the glorious tradition of patriotism, represent a main force to develop cross-Straits relations, promote peaceful reunification and realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. They are also a main force to contain "Taiwan independence" splittist forces. We should safeguard the interests of Taiwan compatriots in real earnest. We should be eager to meet the needs of Taiwan compatriots, have what they are concerned at heart, and try our best to help them allay their worries and solve their problems. We treat all Taiwan compatriots equally, regardless of their provincial origins. We do not discriminate against those who are adopting a wait-and-see, a suspicious, or even a negative or antagonistic attitude toward closer cross-Straits relations, as we are ready to have contact and exchange with them for increased understanding and greater identity of views. We would like to exchange views and enhance mutual understanding and mutual trust with all Taiwan compatriots, except those who stick to the stand of "Taiwan independence".

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