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Chinese premier reaffirms '1992 consensus'

2016/03/05 18:05:21

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強)

Beijing, March 5 (CNA) Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強) reaffirmed Saturday that China will insist on the "1992 consensus" and continue to oppose Taiwan independence.

Li also said that China will safeguard its national sovereignty, while at the same time using a softer tone to describe the two sides of the Taiwan Strait as being "as close as one family."

Li made the remarks while delivering a working report for 2016 to the fourth session of the National People's Congress that opened at the Great Hall of The People In Beijing that day.

It was the first government working report since Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) won the Jan. 16 presidential election in Taiwan.

Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party do not recognize the "1992 consensus," which the Kuomintang government says is a consensus reached in talks held in 1992 that there is only one China, with each side free to interpret its meaning.

"(We will) insist on the `1992 consensus' as the political basis, steadfastly oppose the splittist activities of Taiwan independence, safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, the peaceful development of cross-Taiwan Strait relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait," Li said.

He also said he will continue to push for cross-strait economic integration, promote cross-strait cultural, educational and technological exchanges, and increase exchanges at the grass-roots and among the youth on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

Zhang Zhijun (張志軍), director of the Taiwan Affairs Office under China's State Council, also said cross-strait relations are at a crucial juncture and that the public is concerned about whether both sides will continue to insist on the "1992 consensus" to open up new prospects for bilateral relations or change the cross-strait status quo and deviate from the "1992 consensus" and the path of peaceful development.

He said that China sincerely hopes that both sides can continue the path of peaceful development based on the "1992 consensus" so as to benefit the people on both sides.

But "on moves by the Taiwan independence movement to splinter a nation, we will be in adamant opposition and will deter any such moves," he said.

He told the media before the meeting that it is clear to all that China is firm and unequivocal on safeguarding its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

(By Lawrence Chiu and Lilian Wu)
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