Saturday, May 14, 2005

Meanwhile, rapid temperature drop in China/Taiwan conflict

which equals nothing less than: Bush makes us even more irrelevant.

But this cannot be said to be anything other than good...

BEIJING, May 12 -- Chinese President Hu Jintao proposed new diplomatic language Thursday aimed at ending the decades-old state of hostilities between China and Taiwan, in a rare but tentative concession by a Communist leader on one of the most sensitive issues in Chinese politics.

In a joint communique issued after a two-hour meeting in the cavernous Great Hall of the People, Hu and James Soong, a Taiwanese opposition leader, endorsed a new formulation of the mainland government's long-standing position that cross-strait talks can begin only after Taiwan acknowledges it is part of "one China." Under the new language, Hu effectively agreed to open talks if Taiwan accepted the principle of "two shores, one China" while acknowledging that the two sides might differ on precisely what that term meant...

Speaking in a televised interview in Taipei hours after the announcement in Beijing, Chen swiftly rejected the new wording, saying, "China did not make any concessions. It did not come up with anything new," local news media reported.

But Chen appeared open to further discussions, reiterating plans to establish a commission to pursue cross-strait talks. Chen is widely believed to be waiting until after Taiwan holds island-wide elections Saturday before deciding whether to make Hu a counteroffer...

Chen's response will not be clear until after Saturday, when the island elects a national assembly to consider constitutional reforms. Chen's party has been slipping in the polls, and he may be worried about losing more support. "He expressed disagreement with the communique today, but he still left the door open," Sheng said.

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