Taiwan: President Sets Terms for Reunified China
Taiwan's independence-leaning President Chen Shui-bian said on Tuesday he will not rule out reunification with China if Beijing renounces its one-party system and authoritarian rule.
The remarks came three days before a scheduled meeting between Lien Chan, former leader of Taiwan's main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party, and Chinese President Hu Jintao.
“Should China give up one-party and authoritarian rule, and with the consent of the Taiwan people, any form of future relationship between the two sides will not be ruled out," Chen told visiting members from the European Parliament.
But "if not, no one should force Taiwan people into accepting the option of eventual reunification. We do not oppose the people of China but strongly oppose the one-party and authoritarian rule by the Chinese Communist Party."
“Under authoritarian rule, there is a lack of democracy in China and there is no freedom of speech, press and religion for its people," Chen said.
The two sides split in 1949 but China still regards Taiwan as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.
Earlier this month, Chen rejected a recommendation from KMT chairman Ma Ying-jeou that his government hold rapprochement talks with Beijing, based on 1992 guidelines on the "one-China" principle.
But Chen has suggested that Lien raise the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ while meeting the Chinese leader.
If Hu confirmed the consensus or allowed Taiwan to keep its interpretation of one China, Chen said he would also abide by the consensus and hold peace talks as Ma proposed.