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Commercial Times: Xi steering development of cross-strait ties
Central News Agency
2014-06-25 11:16 PM
Since Xi Jinping took over leadership of China in March 2013, he has displayed talented leadership. He has scored strategic victories in the diplomatic front in the East China Sea, South China Sea, the Middle East and Russia. In Asia, he has dealt effectively with disputes with Vietnam, arranging high-ranking meetings with Vietnamese officials while also forcing forward oil rigs in the South China Sea to underscore China's claims to sovereignty. What Taiwanese leaders should realize is that Xi's aggressive leadership has earned him the reins of cross-strait development. Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) head Wang Yu-chi's visit to China in February and the ongoing visit of his counterpart, Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun, to Taiwan have been part of that active leadership style. The Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) said in a June 21 publication that since 2012, Xi has held officially 10 posts, including the three major ones of president, party general secretary and chairman of the Central Military Commission, setting a record for any Chinese leaders since China's economic reforms began in 1979. A review of Xi's major remarks over the past year and a half shows that he is all about "shouldering responsibility." He has stressed the importance of responsibility and not passing the buck, emphasizing the importance of telling the truth. On cross-strait relations, even the massive student protests over the cross-strait trade-in-services pact in Taiwan have not deterred the possibility of a meeting between Xi and Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou, or a planned visit to Taiwan by Yu Zhengsheng in his capacity as head of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. China has not only engaged in exchanges with Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang, it has also broken past taboo by arranging visits by heavyweights from the Beijing-wary Democratic Progressive Party, as evidenced by the recent visit to Shanghai by Lai Ching-te, mayor of the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan. But when Lai said Taiwan's future should be decided by the Taiwanese people, the Taiwan Affairs Office responded immediately by saying: "Any issue related to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be decided by all Chinese people, including Taiwanese compatriots." This shows that Beijing is maintaining the ability to alternate between being "soft" and "hard" when it serves a purpose. As a result, Taiwan should shed its conservative mindset and approach cross-strait exchanges in a responsible and pragmatic way. (Editorial abstract -- June 26, 2014) (By Lilian Wu)
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