Xi’s ‘Four-Item Principle’ to shape future of cross-Straits relations

By Sun Liji
(People’s Daily) Chinese leaders’ key speeches over cross-Straits relationship usually conclude with numerical expressions, such as Deng Xiaoping’s six conceptions raised in 1983, Jiang Zemin’s “eight-point” proposal in 1995 and Hu Jintao’s “four-point” guideline in 2005.

Following suit are the remarks that Secretary General of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping made during a panel discussion with members of the National Committee of the 12th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) on March 4, where he stressed the peaceful development of cross-Straits ties in what could be referred to as Xi Jinping’s “four-item principle”.

Principle is made up of “four resolutes”: to resolutely pursue peaceful development, adhere to the common political basis, bring benefit to the people across the Strait and join hands in realizing national revitalization.

Course, the second “resolute” might attract the most attention from Taiwan. The common political basis refers to the 1992 Consensus, a result of a meeting between representatives of the Beijing-based Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits and the Taipei-based Straits Exchange Foundation.

In May 2008, the Kuomintang, which recognizes the 1992 Consensus, returned to power in Taiwan. The party has since signed a series of agreements with the mainland, such as the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, resulting in flourishing cross-Straits economic exchanges and cooperation.

However, following the defeat of the Kuomintang during Taiwan’s local elections at the end of 2014, signs suggest that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) may win Taiwan’s 2016 “presidential” election.

The DPP, which advocates Taiwan’s independence, has never recognized the 1992 Consensus.

Xi stressed the irreplaceable role of the 1992 Consensus in cross-Straits stability, noting that “as long as they can hold on to this, there will be no communication obstacles between any of Taiwan’s parties or organizations and the Chinese mainland.” This comment was obviously aimed at the DPP.

DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ying-wen has already announced her bid for the 2016 “presidential” election. It remains to be seen how she will respond to the mainland’s new advocacy.

In addition to his “four resolutes,” Xi stressed that fundamentally, the key deciding factor in cross-Straits ties is the development and progress of the Chinese mainland.

These words not only share the same spirit of Jiang’s “eight-point” proposal and Hu’s “four-point” guideline, but also embody Xi’s pioneering thought and confidence.