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Taiwan welcome to join WWII commemoration

2015-03-12 08:46 Global Times Web Editor: Qian Ruisha

China welcomes Taiwan's participation in commemorations later this year to mark the end of World War II, a Chinese government spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

The Chinese mainland is open to dialogue with any political party or group in Taiwan if the 1992 Consensus is honored, the spokeswoman further said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated the importance of adherence to the 1992 Consensus, the core of which is to acknowledge that the Chinese mainland and Taiwan belong to one and the same China, at a panel discussion with members of the national political advisory body on March 4.[Special coverage]

Analysts believe that Xi's statements, which re-emphasized the consensus as the groundwork of cross-Straits ties, send an important message to the pro-independence opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) suffered a landslide election defeat last year that many say will cast a shadow on the future development of cross-Straits relations.

Fan Liqing, spokesperson of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, told a press conference on Wednesday that Xi's remarks showed the mainland's confidence and resolve on boosting peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.

Fan emphasized that the Chinese mainland holds no communication barrier against any political party or group in Taiwan, "so long as they can recognize the 1992 Consensus."

Xi had called during the discussion that "Taiwan independence" is the biggest threat to cross-Straits peace and stability.

Fan said Xi's comments, which stressed peaceful development of cross-Straits ties and vigilance against "Taiwan independence," have set the direction for the mainland's future Taiwan affairs work.

"With a new situation and new problems arising in Taiwan last year, it is crucial for the mainland to reiterate our basic stance in peaceful development through recognition of the 1992 Consensus," Xu Shiquan, vice chairman of the Beijing-based National Society of Taiwan Studies, told the Global Times.

Taiwan's ruling KMT suffered a landslide defeat to the DPP in the island-wide "nine-in-one elections" in November 2014 which later resulted in Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou stepping down as KMT chairman.

The defeat was widely seen as a prelude to a DPP victory in the island's leadership election in 2016.

In March last year, the island's legislative body was almost paralyzed after a weeks-long protest when many local residents took to the streets to voice their opposition to a cross-Straits service trade agreement.

"The Chinese mainland's stance has always been consistent, which is that both sides must adhere to the 'one and same China' consensus. That stance will not change with the political demographics on the island," Xu noted.

DPP chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen avoided referring to the 1992 Consensus in an interview on March 6, reported the Taiwan-based news portal nownews.com.

Instead, the chairwoman - who had registered as a candidate in the party's primary ahead of the 2016 election - emphasized that the DPP will adhere to its own policy.

"Judging from her behavior and rhetoric, the transformation Tsai advocates is a pro-independence one to build a so-called 'new Taiwan.' In this case, it is necessary for Xi to make a clear statement, so that Tsai would not underestimate or misjudge the situation [should she become the new leader of Taiwan]," read an editorial in the Fujian-based news portal taihainet.com.

The DPP's administration will face great challenges if the party wins the 2016 election and cannot properly handle cross-Straits relations, Wang Jianmin, a research fellow from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), previously told the Global Times. "The island's economy relies on good cross-Straits relations."

Fan also said Wednesday she welcomes the newly selected KMT chairman Chu Li-luan to visit the Chinese mainland.

Hu Benliang, another research fellow from CASS, said if Chu accepts the invitation, a meeting between Xi and the KMT chairman can be expected.

The meeting is expected to help resolve political differences across the Straits and lift the spirits of the KMT, an editorial in the People's Daily said.

Fan also said Taiwan people are welcome to participate in commemorations later this year to mark the end of WWII and said victory in the war was a victory for "the entire nation."

"We hope people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits can always remember history, cherish the memory of martyrs and rally together through war victory activities," she told reporters, without providing further details of the commemorations.

China will hold a military parade, reception and evening gala for the war anniversary, which is likely to be marked in September.

China's foreign ministry said it plans to invite leaders from major participants in WWII.

Xinhua contributed to this story

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