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NO. 21 (November 1, 2003)
2004/05/22



  • 3rd Plenum of the CPC 16th Central Committee Convened
  • Shenzhou V Manned Spacecraft Successfully Launched
  • Safeguarding the Rights of Trade Union Members
  • Three Direct Links Across the Taiwan Straits and National Reunification--the Trend of the Times



    3rd Plenum of the CPC 16th Central Committee Convened

    --The session adopted a decision of the CPC Central Committee on issues regarding the improvement of the socialist market economic system and a proposal of the CPC Central Committee on revising part of the country's Constitution.

         The Third Plenary Session of the 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) wits held on October 11-14 in Beijing.
       
         Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, delivered an important speech at the meeting, which was presided over by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.
       
         The four-day meeting heard and discussed a work report delivered by Hu Jintao on behalf of line Political Bureau of line CPC Central Committee. The plenum deliberated and approved two documents-the Decision of the CPC Central Committee on Issues Regarding the Improvement of the Socialist Market Economic System and the Proposal of the CPC Central Committee on Revising Part of the Country's Constitution. The meeting also decided to submit the two documents to the Standing Committee of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC) for deliberation.
       
         The meeting confirmed the achievements of the Political Bureau of the 16th CPC Central Committee since the First Plenum of the 16th CPC Central Committee, holding that fine Political Bureau of the 16th CPC Central Committee has persisted in taking Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of "three represents" (to always represent tine 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) as its guidance, carried out in an all-round way the spirit of the 16th National Party Congress, and maintained the consistency and stability of the Party's line, policies and principles while proceeding from practice to study new circumstances and resolve new problems. It has created a new situation in reform, opening-up and the socialist modernization drive, united and led the whole Party and the whole nation to overcome various difficulties and risks on the road of advance, and seized the great periodical victory in the prevention and control of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). Fairly rapid economic growth and the good momentum of all-round development of various undertakings have been maintained, and the political situation featuring hard struggle for progress, stability and unity has been consolidated.
       
         The meeting highly appraised the major progress made in the practice and theory of China's economic restructuring since the Third Plenary Session of the 1lth CPC Central Committee, particularly after the 14th National Party Congress, which set the goal of establishing a socialist market economic system. The meeting stressed that to suit the international environment of economic globalization and a quickened pace of scientific and technological progress, as well as the new situation of building a relatively prosperous society in an all-round way, it is necessary to follow the deployment strategy set by the 16th National Party Congress of building a complete socialist market economic system that is more lively and more open, expedite reform, further emancipate and develop productive forces, and inject great power into economic development and all-round social progress. It is necessary to let the market play its fundamental role, to a greater extent, in resources distribution, and provide a strong institutional guarantee for the building of a relatively prosperous society in an all-round way, in line with the requirements to coordinate the development of urban and rural areas, the development of different regions, the development of economy and society, the development of man and nature, and domestic development and opening-up.
       
         The meeting outlined the main tasks for improving a socialist market economic system. The first task is to improve the basic economic system of keeping public ownership as the mainstay of the economy and allowing diverse forms of ownership to develop side by side. It is necessary to establish a system that will help change the dual economic structures in urban and rural areas gradually, form a mechanism that will promote the coordinated development of the economies of different regions, build a unified, open, competitive and orderly market, improve the macro-control system, the administrative management system and the legal system, complete employment and income distribution systems, and build a mechanism for sustainable development of the economy and society. The other task is to deepen the reform of the economic structure. It is necessary to emancipate the mind, seek truth from facts, move with the times, stick to the direction of socialist market economic restructuring, respect the pioneering spirit of the masses, persist in appropriately handling relations among reform, development and stability, persist in unified planning with due consideration for all concerned and taking people's interests first, establish a view of all-round, coordinated and sustainable development, and promote an all-round development of the economy, society and people.
       
         The meeting called for efforts to uphold the status of public ownership as the mainstay of the national economy, give play to the leading role of the state-owned economy, actively promote the development of diverse and effective forms for the materialization of the public ownership, and expedite the readjustment of the distribution and structure of the state-owned economy. To suit the trend of the continuous development of a market-oriented economy, it is necessary to further enhance the vitality of the public economy, energetically develop state-owned, collective and non-public capital and other shareholding economies of mixed forms of ownership, and strive to pluralize investors, so as to turn the shareholding system into a main form for the materialization of the public ownership. Energetic efforts should be made to develop and actively guide the nonpublic economy, and permit non-public capital to enter into infrastructure facilities, public utilities and other sectors and fields not banned by China's laws and regulations. Non-public enterprises should enjoy the same treatments as other enterprises in investment, financing, tax payment, land utilization and foreign trade. Service to and supervision over non-public enterprises should be improved.
       
         Property right is the core and main content of owner-ship. To establish a modern property right system with clear proprietary, defined rights and responsibilities, strict protective measures and smooth transfer channels helps safeguard public property right and consolidate the status of the public ownership as the mainstay of the national economy. It is also conducive to the protection of private property right and the development of the non-public economy, to the circulation and reorganization of all kinds of capital and the development of the economy of mixed forms of ownership, to increases in the innovative capacity of enterprises and the general public, and to the formation of a sound credit foundation and a good market order.
       
         The session held that the household-based land contract system is the core of the fundamental management system in rural areas, and the two-tier management system based on household contract management and the integration of centralization and decentralization should be stabilized for a long time and improved continuously. The various rights of farmers with regard to land contract management should be guaranteed in accordance with the law. Within the term of contract farming households can transfer their land contract management right with compensation in accordance with the law and on a voluntary basis. The method of land transfer should be improved, and optimum-scale farming should be developed gradually. The state shall increase support to and protection of agriculture. The fee-to-tax reform in rural areas should be carried out in depth so as to reduce the burden of farmers in real earnest. Energetic efforts should be pooled to develop county-level economies, accelerate the process of urbanization, and gradually unify urban and rural labor markets, form an employment system that ensures urban and rural laborers enjoy equal right in employment, and create more job opportunities for farmers.
       
         The meeting called for efforts to speed up the construction of a unified market throughout the country and promote the free circulation and full competition of commodities and all production factors nationwide. It is necessary to enhance the sense of credibility of the whole society, and form a social credit system supported by ethics, based on property right and guaranteed by law. Continuous efforts should be pooled to improve the state's macro-control system, expedite the transformation of government functions, deepen the reform of the administrative examination and approval system, and genuinely transform the government's economic management function to the service for market players and the creation of a sound development environment. It is necessary to strengthen the coordination of and guidance to regional development, actively advance the development of the western region, effectively develop the comprehensive advantage of the central region, support central and western regions to expedite reform and development, invigorate old industrial bases in northeast China and other areas, and encourage areas with good conditions in east China to lead the nation in achieving modernization. It is necessary to deepen the reform of the investment system, carry out the reform of the taxation system step by step, promote the reform of the financial management system, deepen the reform of financial enterprises, improve the financial regulatory and control mechanism, and complete the financial institution management system.
       
         The meeting called for endeavors to put the task of expanding employment at a prominent place in socioeconomic development, to adhere to the principle of encouraging laborers to seek jobs on their own, to increase employment through market regulation and promote employment with government endeavors, to exercise positive employment policies, to improve the environment for starting up businesses and employment, and to encourage enterprises to create more jobs. It is necessary to improve the income distribution system that mainly relies on distribution according to work and is supplemented by diverse forms of distribution, intensify regulation over income distribution, and pay attention to solving the problem of the excessive widening of the gap between incomes of some social members. Efforts should be made to expedite the building of a social security system that matches the current economic development level, improve the basic endowment system for enterprise employees, establish a complete unemployment insurance system, continue to reform the basic medicare insurance system for urban employees, and improve the basic living standards guarantee system for urban residents.
       
         The meeting deemed it necessary to deepen the reform of scientific, technological, educational, cultural, health and physical cultural systems, innovate work mechanisms, create an institutional environment for implementing the strategy of relying on talented people to build a powerful country, expedite the construction of the state innovation system, establish a modern national educational system and a life-long educational system, promote the coordinated development of cultural undertakings and industries, and enhance the public health service level and the capacity to cope with sudden public health problems. It is also necessary to advance the building of an economic legal system in an all-round way.
       
         The meeting held that the establishment of a complete socialist market economic system poses a big, new test to the whole Party. It is necessary to strengthen and improve the building of the Party style and of an honest government, and establish and complete a corruption punishment and prevention system that is commensurate with the socialist market economic system and puts equal emphasis on education, system and supervision, so as to create a sound social environment for the establishment of a complete socialist market economic system. It is necessary to actively and steadily advance political restructuring, expand socialist democracy, complete the socialist legal system, consolidate and expand the patriotic united front, and strengthen the ideological and political work, with an eye to provide a strong political guarantee for the development of a socialist market economy.
       
         The meeting stressed that the existing Constitution is a good one that conforms to China's reality and should remain stable. Meanwhile, in line with the objective demand of socioeconomic development, to write the important theoretical views and major policies and principles set by the 16th National Party Congress into the Constitution will enable the Constitution to better play its role as the country's fundamental law.

         The meeting called on the whole Party and the people of all nationalities throughout the country to, under the guidance of Marxism, Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xioping Theory and the important thought of "three represents", implement the spirit of the 16th National Party Congress in an all-round way, closely unite around the CPC Central Committee headed by General Secretary Hu Jintao, blaze new trails and forge ahead, do a solid work, continuously promote the coordinated development of socialist material civilization, political civilization and spiritual civilization, and work hard for the establishment of a complete socialist market economic system and the fulfillment of the goal of building a relatively prosperous society in an all-round way.          




    Shenzhou V Manned Spacecraft Successfully Launched

    --While watching the whole process of the launch of the Shenzhou V manned spacecraft on the spot, President Hu Jintao stated that the successful launch of the manned spacecraft is an honor for our great motherland and an indicator for the initial victory of China's first manned space flight and for a historic step taken by the Chinese people in their endeavor to surmount the peak of global science and technology.

         At 6:23 a.m. on October 16 (Beijing time), the first Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei, aboard the domestically built Shenzhou V spacecraft, safely landed in central Inner Mongolia. Hence, China becomes the third nation after Russia and the United States to possess the capability of putting an astronaut into space.
       
         The Shenzhou V manned spacecraft was launched at 9 a.m. on October 15 (Beijing time) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launching Center atop the Long March-2F carrier rocket and orbited the earth 14 times before its successful return.
       
         When orbiting the earth at the seventh time, Yang Liwei displayed a national flag of the People's Republic of China and a flag of the United Nations in space. This UN flag and a bigger one aboard the spacecraft will be handed over to the United Nations soon after the flight mission. The flight of UN flags aboard Shenzhou V demonstrates that the Chinese Government attaches great importance to its cooperation with the UN in making peaceful uses of outer space and shows its support to UN tenets and principles. It also exhibits the commitment of the Chinese Government to the peaceful use of outer space for the benefit of all mankind.
       
         The Shenzhou V manned spacecraft was developed primarily by China Academy of Space Technology and Shanghai Academy of Space Technology--affiliates to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. The spacecraft, which consists of propulsion module, descent module, orbital module and service module, can carry three astronauts and implement in-orbit autonomous reentry in case of emergency and manual control.
       
         Shenzhou V was launched atop the Long March-IIF carrier rocket, which was mainly developed by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, also an affiliate to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. The Long March Il is a carrier rocket added with a booster strap--one specially designed for the manned space project. It has enjoyed five consecutive successful launches since the launch of Shenzhou I. The launch of Shenzhou V marks the 71st mission of the Long March series and the 29th consecutive success of rocket launch since October 1996.
       
         China's manned space project, which was approved in 1992, includes seven systems, namely the astronaut, spacecraft scientific application, manned spacecraft, carrier rocket, launching site, monitoring and controlling system and landing site system. China Manned Space Engineering Office is in charge of the organization and co6rdination of the whole project. In China's space history, the manned space project is a state key project with the largest scale, the most complicated system and the most sophisticated technology.
       
         Over the past 11 years, four unmanned test flights were successfully conducted in November 1999, January 2001, and March and December 2002 respectively. Tens of thousands of scientists, researchers and technicians from 110 institutes and more than 3,000 units participated in relevant research, development and construction projects. China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. was responsible for the development of manned spacecraft and the carrier rocket. China Academy of Sciences took charge of the development of the space scientific application system. The Ministry of Information Industry was responsible for the development of the monitoring and control system. The training of astronauts and the construction of launching and landing sites and monitoring and control facilities were undertaken by other relevant units.
       
         Until the realization of the first manned flight, the Chinese Government has allocated more than 18 billion yuan to the project. The fund was mainly used for scientific research, equipment and instruments manufacturing and construction of essential facilities for research and tests, which helped establish a system complete with all necessary departments of research, production and tests related to manned space flight.
       
         The maiden manned space flight is the first step of China's space program, in accordance with the development plan approved by the Chinese Government, the manned space project will be carried out in three steps. The first step is to launch unmanned and manned spacecraft, propelling astronauts safely into the low earth orbit, properly conducting earth observation and scientific experiments, ensuring a safe return of astronauts, and setting up a complete engineering system of the manned space project. The second step is to achieve space walking and a rendezvous docking of spacecrafts, to develop and launch a space lab with a certain scale and solve the problem relating to the application of a space lab that can be manned for a short time. The third step is to develop a space station according to demand and solve the problem relating to the application of a manned space station.




    Safeguarding the Rights of Trade Union Members

         

    -The 14th National Congress of China's trade unions, convened on September 22, was successfully concluded on the 26th. Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the country, and other Party and state leaders attended the opening ceremony and extended their congratulations to the congress. Zeng Qinghong, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and vice-chairman of the country, delivered a congratulatory speech on behalf of the CPC Central Committee. Wen Jiabao, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and premier of the State Council, made a report on the country's economic situation during the congress. On conclusion of the congress, while having a discussion with the new leaders of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) and some of the congress delegates, President Hu Jintao stressed the necessity for strengthening and improving trade union work in the new stage of the new century and for giving full play to the role of the working class as the main force in the great cause of building a relatively prosperous society in an all-round way.
         Wang Zhaoguo, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, was elected chairman of the 14th Executive Committee of the ACFTU.
         For the first time, the practice of opening trade union membership to farmer workers was written into the report to the national congress of trade unions. The report also cited migrant workers as "new members of China's working class ", which is of far-reaching significance, noted experts.


         Over the past five years since the ACFTU's 13th National Congress, trade unions at all levels have fulfilled their basic responsibilities in safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of their members and made outstanding contributions to advancing reform, promoting development and maintaining social stability.
       
         Fulfilling Basic Responsibilities
       
         Safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of union members is a basic responsibility of trade unions. Over the past five years, trade unions at all levels have intensified their efforts in this regard by enhancing the solidarity and advantages of trade unions, increasing the number of beneficiaries, promoting the establishment of mechanisms for safeguarding union members' rights in accordance with the law and for the formulation of relevant legislation, and by paying a good deal of attention to hot and tough issues of concern to union members.
       
         Over the past five years, trade unions at all levels have promoted and participated in the formulation of 1,264 laws, provisions and policy stipulations on safeguarding the rights and interests of employees and trade unions. The ACFTU was directly involved in the drafting of more than 30 laws and provisions, including the Trade Union Law, the Law on Safety in Production, the Law on the Prevention and Control of Occupational Diseases, Regulations on Insurance for Industrial Injuries, Labor Contract Law (draft), Collective Contract Law and Social Security Law (draft). Particularly, the ACFTU has contributed to completing the amendments to the Law of the People's Republic of China on Trade Unions and the formulation of relevant judicial interpretations made by the Supreme People's Court. Federations of trade unions in various provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government have actively participated in the formulation or amendments of local trade union laws enacted by local people's congresses.
       
         Up to now, Beijing, Shanghai and 17 other provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have completed amendments or formulation of local trade union laws, as well as the drafting of laws and regulations related to the Labor Law of the People's Republic of China. As a result, a legal system has initially taken shape, which provides guarantees for building trade unions and safeguarding union members' rights in accordance with the law, and for the fulfillment of the fundamental role of trade unions.
                   
         Setting Up a Mechanism for Coordinating Labor Relations
       
         Trade Unions in various localities have joined efforts with local governments and enterprises to set up a mechanism for coordinating labor relations through consultation and negotiation in order to reach consensus in regard to salary and other major issues. Trade unions regularly hold meetings with local governments, reporting promptly to the latter employees' problems and opinions, as well as cases involving infringement of union members' rights and interests. In their turn, local governments provide guidance for the work of trade unions.
       
         Over the past five years, continuous progress has been made in trade unions' efforts to promote consultation on an equal footing and the collective contract system. According to statistics released by the ACFTU, by the end of September 2002, a total of 392,000 collective contracts involving 61.676 million employees had been concluded nationwide, including 309,000 by enterprises and institutions with grass-roots trade unions. Trade unions above the grass-roots level had participated in the conclusion of 65,000 regional collective contracts, involving 743,000 enterprises and 20.713 million employees.
       
         Trade unions have played a bigger role in handling labor disputes, and progress has been made in supervision over the enforcement of labor laws and legal aid offered to employees. By the end of 2000, enterprises in various localities had established 223,000 labor dispute mediating committees, which had handled 135,000 labor dispute cases, with a success rate of 59.7 percent. In the labor dispute arbitration committees at various levels, there are 16,000 trade union representatives. Trade unions above the county level in various localities have participated in the arbitration of a large number of cases involving labor disputes, with satisfactory results.
       
         Over the past five years, out of concern for maintaining social stability, trade unions at all levels have established various forms of institutions to help laid-off workers and other employees in financial difficulties, including destitute employee relief centers, job introduction and job training centers and reemployment bases, with a view to bringing them tangible benefits. Between September 2002 and the end of January 2003, 456 destitute employee relief centers were established throughout the country, including 11 at the provincial level and 142 at the prefectural (city) level. They provided help and assistance for 297,000 employees and dispensed 83.7 million yuan in relief funds. Meanwhile, trade unions at all levels have provided various forms of aid in such fields as medicare, education and housing.
       
         In addition, trade unions have intensified measures to help destitute employees (known as the heart-warming project). Trade union leaders at various levels, together with Party and government officials, have frequently visited enterprises and employees' families in financial difficulty, helping the former improve their operation and the latter solve practical problems. Over the past five years, trade unions at various levels have raised and dispensed 12.94 billion yuan in relief funds, and visited 525,000 enterprises in difficulty and 31.5 million families of destitute employees, model workers, retired people, and employees in poor health or with industrial injuries. These activities have regularized, systemized and socialized the heart-warming project.
                     
         Help for 3 Million People Seeking Reemployment
       
         Reemployment of laid-off workers has been a focal issue of concern to trade unions at all levels. Over the past five years, they have assisted Party committees and governments in helping laid-off workers find jobs by providing vocational training and consulting services on a large scale. By the end of June 2002, trade unions at various levels nationwide had established more than 4,000 employment agencies, helping more than 3 million laid-off and unemployed workers find new jobs. They also set up more than 6,000 vocational training institutions, which enrolled more than 3.2 million laid-off workers. In addition, they raised reemployment funds, established reemployment bases, helped laid-off workers secure small loans and organized export of labor. Over the past five years, labor welfare undertakings set up by trade unions nationwide have employed 519,000 laid-off workers and unemployed personnel.
         
         Increase in Union Membership

         The ACFTU has called on trade unions at all levels to extend membership to all employees with salary incomes in order to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of this category. Over the past five years, trade unions at all levels have set up their organizations in newly established enterprises at a quickened pace, and intensified efforts to reestablish and rectify the trade unions in state-owned and collective enterprises that had undergone restructuring, and to regularize membership rules. By the end of September 2002, some 1.134 million newly built enterprises had established trade unions, recruiting 42.89 million members. The number of grass-roots trade unions increased from 510,000 in 1997 to 1.713 million and union membership rose from 91.31 million to 130 million, hitting an all-time high in a net growth of 1.203 million and 42.668 million respectively.




    Three Direct Links Across the Taiwan Straits and National Reunification-the Trend of the Times

    -The mainland has made ceaseless efforts to promote the realization of three direct links of trade, mail and air and shipping services across the Taiwan Straits. Reunification of China is an inevitable trend of history.

       
         During a recent interview with a People's Daily reporter at the 12th Symposium on Cross-Straits Relations held in southwest China's Guilin, Wang Zaixi, deputy director of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, addressed some issues in current cross-Straits relations.
       
         In regard to a referendum advocated by Taiwan authorities, Deputy Director Wang said, "We have always supported Taiwan compatriots' struggles for political democracy ever since the Uprising of February 28, 1947. The so-called referendum proposed by Taiwan authorities is a scheme for the 'independence of Taiwan' under the banner of democracy."
       
         Public opinion in Taiwan can be canvassed through various ways, such as conducting polls. Taiwan authorities, however, with ulterior motives, now resort to a referendum at every turn. This is a dangerous tendency. The leader of the Taiwan authorities has advocated "one state on each side of the Straits", attempting to further undermine cross-Straits relations and achieve his aim of splitting the motherland by making an issue of the referendum.
       
         "We understand our Taiwan compatriots' yearning for democracy and freedom, and also respect their desire to become their own masters. But we firmly oppose the Taiwan authorities' flouting of the one-China principle and their action of resorting to a referendum to split the motherland," Wang stated.

         Appropriate ways toward reunification can be found through cross-Straits negotiations on the premise of "one China". A referendum conducted in Taiwan, which is only a part of China, cannot solve any problem related to national reunification. "l think our Taiwan compatriots can understand this stand of ours," Wand continued.

         On the issue of "three direct links", he explained that the idea of realizing direct links of trade, mail and air and shipping services across the Straits was proposed in a letter to Taiwan compatriots issued by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) on New Year's Day 1979 and in the talks of the then NPC Chairman Ye Jianying with Xinhua News Agency correspondents on September 30, 1981. "We have persistently proposed 'three direct links' and made ceaseless efforts to promote their realization over the years," Deputy Director Wang stated.
       
         He also cited related data to prove the necessity and urgency of establishing the "three direct links". There is a huge mass of personnel and material exchange between the two sides, with more than 3 million Taiwan people visiting the mainland each year and the volume of bilateral trade expected to exceed US$50 billion this year. Failure to realize the "three direct links" has resulted in an enormous waste of human and material resources, as well as of time. With realization of the "three direct links", aircraft can fly directly from Taipei and Kaohsung to Fuzhou, Xiamen and Guangzhou.
       
         It normally would take only 40 minutes for a direct flight from Fuzhou to Taipei. But right now, because of making a transfer in Hong Kong it takes four hours. According to calculations, the barrier to direct air service has caused annual losses worth several billion US dollars. A poll conducted in Taiwan shows that two-thirds of the local residents are in favor of the "three direct links", in the face of mounting public pressure, the Taiwan authorities recently proposed "three stages for direct air service across the Straits".
       
         "l think they are only assuming a posture and lack sincerity, I hope to see progress made in the proper procedure for the 'three direct links'-that is, in an all-round, direct and two-way mode, and not in a one-way, indirect and limited form. There is still a long way to go from 'Spring Festival chartered flights' to 'direct flights of chartered planes'. At present, only Taiwan's civil planes are permitted to enter the mainland, but not vice versa," Wang added.
       
         Problems related to the "three direct links" can be solved easily and quickly, as long as there is sincerity. Success may be achieved this year if only there is the desire to reach a solution. "Three direct links" will benefit both sides, particularly Taiwan compatriots in commercial circles. "In my view, the 'three direct links' will surely be achieved, as the proposition enjoys the people' support and follows the trend of the times. I hope compatriots on both sides of the Straits can make concerted efforts to advance the process of the 'three direct links' and achieve results as soon as possible, for this will benefit both sides," Wang stated.
       
         On the prospects for cross-Straits relations, Deputy Director Wang said he is optimistic about future developments. Compatriots on Taiwan and on the mainland are brothers. Though some Taiwan compatriots have misunderstandings in regard to the mainland and hold different views, as a result of the long-term separation between the two sides owing to historical reasons, the majority recognize their Chinese national identity and oppose moves toward the "independence of Taiwan". "We should fully understand their complicated feelings, which, after all, were formed under a special historical background. I believe, along with the widening contacts and exchanges across the Straits, Taiwan compatriots who hold different views will get to know more about the mainland and change their ideas. They will agree with the one-China principle and support reunification. We should have confidence in them," Wang noted.
       
         At present, the situation on the mainland is excellent. The Party Central Committee headed by General Secretary Hu Jintao attaches great importance to the Taiwan issue and has great concern for our Taiwan compatriots. At panel discussions during this year's annual sessions of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, General Secretary Hu stated that we should actively become engaged in any issue that benefits our Taiwan compatriots and is conducive to the reunification of the motherland and to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and strive to make it a success. "In the long run, China will surely achieve reunification, as it is an inevitable trend of history. In this, I have full confidence," Wang stated.    

         On the mainland's attitude and policy toward the influx of Taiwan businesspeople and those who come to study or seek jobs on the mainland, Deputy Director Wang deems it a gratifying phenomenon brought about by the continuous expansion of cross-Straits contact and exchange. "As for our attitude, first, we hold that political differences should not interfere in normal people-to-people exchange across the Straits. Second, we will take more active and effective measures to expand cross-Straits exchange. For instance, we will do more to protect the interests of Taiwan investors and provide them with preferential policies concerning land utilization, taxation and prices. We will put forward some new policies concerning Taiwan compatriots' study and employment on the mainland. Laws, regulations and policies in these fields will gradually be optimized. Governments at all levels are paying strict attention to relevant legislation and are taking measures to correct and improve irrational or imperfect laws.
       
         As to the Taiwan authorities' arms purchases from the United States, Wang pointed out that such deals which squander huge amounts of money exhaust the people and drain the treasury. They have also adversely affected the stability of the situation in the Taiwan Straits. Mainly out of political considerations, Taiwan authorities' arms purchase aims to make political deals. At present, compatriots on both sides are striving to maintain stability and peace across the Straits, and the mainland has adopted positive measures such as armament reduction. Under the circumstances, the Taiwan authorities' strenuous efforts to build up their military force could only lead to an arms race across the Straits. If the Taiwan authorities really intend to go all out in economic development and sincerely care for the well-being of the Taiwan people, they had better use the money on economic development and on building up the infrastructure.
       
         In conclusion, Deputy Director Wang stressed that security in the Taiwan Straits demands that Taiwan authorities' refraining from challenging the one-China principle and from splitting the motherland. If the Taiwan authorities stick to the wrong path, they will get nowhere no matter how many weapons they have purchased. Arms expansion will not bring security to Taiwan. Taiwan authorities who are bent on arms expansion, will only bring suffering to the Taiwan people once a war breaks out.




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