Together Fulfill the Chinese Dream of National Rejuvenation*
February 18, 2014
Distinguished Honorary Chairman Lien Chan and Madame Lien,
Dear friends from all walks of life in Taiwan,
Good afternoon! I am delighted to meet Chairman Lien and other friends, old and new, right after the Spring Festival. You are the first Taiwanese guests I have met since the beginning of this year, the Year of the Horse. First of all, I would like to extend my warm welcome to you. I wish you all a happy New Year and every success!
Chairman Lien and I have met several times, and we are old friends now. He has deep feelings for our motherland, and has long been an advocate of cross-Straits relations and has done a great deal for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. I greatly appreciate his dedication.
A whole year's work depends on a good start in the spring. Last year, Chairman Lien and other friends also paid us a visit at the beginning of spring, setting a favorable course for the development of cross-Straits relations in the year. Progress in our relationship has been of great benefit to the people of both sides, as well as offering further potential for development. This year, we hope that both sides can work together on the basis that we are one family, seize every opportunity that presents itself, and make a concerted effort to make further progress in the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and bring more benefits to the people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits.
Thank you, Chairman Lien, for the good points you have just raised on the subject of cross-Straits relations, which are very enlightening to me. You are representatives of all circles in Taiwan; and I would like to have a heart-to-heart talk with you.
Due to history and present circumstances, there are many thorny problems for the moment between our two sides, but this will pass, for we are both doing our best to solve them, and to ensure that they do not adversely affect our relationship, our cooperation, or our exchanges. Meanwhile, the people on both sides of the Straits are one family with shared blood, culture, bonds, and aspirations, all of which serve as an important force for promoting our mutual understanding and common progress.
First, we are one family, and no one can ever cut the veins that connect us. I am impressed by our compatriots in Taiwan for their worship of the ancestors, their love for the homeland, and their honesty, frankness, diligence and hard work. The closeness between us is rooted in our blood, our history and culture. We all believe that Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Straits are members of one Chinese nation, and we all inherit and pass on Chinese culture. During the 50 years when Taiwan was occupied by the Japanese aggressors1, our fellow Taiwanese maintained a strong sense of national consciousness and deep feelings for Chinese culture, regarding themselves first and foremost as members of the Chinese nation. Such consciousness and feelings are inherent and natural, and can never be erased.
Looking back on the history of Taiwan and that of cross-Straits relations, I have come to a clear understanding that no matter what trials and hardships Taiwan has experienced, and no matter what vicissitudes cross-Straits relations have been through, the hearts of the people on both sides of the Straits remain in accord with each other, and the people on both sides always show concern for and help each other. It is a simple truth that blood is thicker than water. All Taiwanese are our kinsmen, including the descendants of those who crossed the dangerous "Black Ditch"2 hundreds of years ago to seek a new life in Taiwan, and those who migrated to Taiwan a few decades ago. We share origins and ancestors, and we are one close family. To strengthen these ties has been our common aspiration, and no force on earth can sever the bond between us.
Second, people on both sides of the Straits share the same destiny, and there is no knot that cannot be unraveled. Despite the Straits that separate us geographically, we share the same destiny. A great Chinese nation will be a blessing for all Chinese, while a weak and divided one will be disastrous. After experiencing so many twists and turns in modern times, we all have a deep understanding of this.
A hundred and twenty years ago China was a weak country, and the Japanese aggressors took advantage of this to occupy Taiwan. This was a traumatic experience for all Chinese people on both sides of the Straits. In the bitter years when Taiwan was under Japanese occupation, countless Taiwanese compatriots shed their blood, and many laid down their lives, proving they were inseparable members of the extended family of the Chinese nation. For more than six decades now, although the two sides have yet to be reunited, we belong to one country and the same nation – a fact that has never changed, nor will ever change in the future. The blood of the Chinese nation flows in every one of us, and ours is forever the soul of the Chinese nation.
Due to their historical suffering and the distinct social environment in which they have lived, the people of Taiwan have their own mindset. They bear particular historical scars, they are eager to be masters of their own destiny, they cherish their established social systems and way of life, and they wish to live a stable and happy life. Putting ourselves in their place, we can fully understand their feelings.
We identify with our compatriots in Taiwan in terms of their historical trauma, for it is a shared trauma of all sons and daughters of the Chinese nation. With the advent of the new era, it has become a common goal cherished by each one of us on both sides of the Straits to become a dignified Chinese and a helmsman of his own destiny.
Family affection heals trauma, and sincerity leads to realistic solutions to problems. We have no lack of patience, and have confidence aplenty. Family affection cannot only heal wounds, relieve pain, and unlock hearts, but help achieve mutual affinity. We respect the social system and the way of life chosen by the people of Taiwan, and would also like them to be first in sharing the opportunities brought by the mainland's development. None of us can choose our history, but we can all seize the moment and create a better future.
Third, the people on both sides of the Straits should join our efforts in promoting peaceful cross-Straits relations. Over the past five years or more, we have together chosen the path of peaceful development in cross-Straits relations. As a result we have broken new ground, to the benefit of all concerned. Facts have proved that this is the right path, leading to peace, common development, national rejuvenation and mutual benefit. The two sides should eliminate all obstacles, and advance along this path firmly, step by step, and with full confidence.
The current peaceful development of cross-Straits relations is beneficial to both sides, and no one wants to reverse such a favorable trend. For this reason, the two sides must consolidate and hold fast to our common foundation of the "1992 Consensus"3 and our opposition to "Taiwan independence," and be fully aware of the importance of maintaining the one-China framework. Such a foundation is the anchor for cross-Straits relations. Only when our vessel is at anchor will we be able to "sit tight on the fishing boat despite the rising wind and surging waves." As long as a solid foundation is maintained, the prospects for cross-Straits relations will continue to grow brighter. If the foundation is jeopardized, the relations will go back to turbulence and instability. Only recently, a consensus was reached at a meeting of the heads of departments in charge of cross-Straits affairs from both sides which is conducive to the all-round development of cross-Straits relations.
As far as any significant political differences between the mainland and Taiwan are concerned, we are willing to conduct consultations with the people of Taiwan, based on equality within the one-China framework, and come to reasonable arrangements. We are ready to communicate with the people of Taiwan on any and every subject. Not every problem has an ideal solution, but where there is communication, there is hope, and, as a saying goes, "Faith can move mountains." I believe that the people of China on both sides of the Straits have the wisdom to find the right approach to the problems between us.
"When everybody adds wood to the fire, the flames rise high." We invite more of our compatriots in Taiwan to work together with us. Let us make a concerted effort, work out effective methods, and pool all of our wisdom and strength so as to consolidate and expand the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, transform this goal into an irresistible historic trend, and bring the benefits to the general public in Taiwan, and in particular to those at the grassroots. We will welcome people from Taiwan and treat them equally and without discrimination, regardless of whatever stance they might previously have taken, to boost the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.
Fourth, the people of the two sides should work hand in hand towards the Chinese Dream, the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. These were the long-cherished wishes of Dr Sun Yat-sen4: to achieve the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, to realize the greatness and prosperity of China, and to ensure the happiness of the Chinese people. These have also been the long-cherished wishes of all CPC members and all the Chinese people since the advent of modern times. The Chinese Dream is a vivid expression of this wish.
Just as Chairman Lien has said, the Chinese Dream is closely related to Taiwan's future. It is a dream shared by both sides of the Straits that can only be realized through joint effort. As a saying goes, "If brothers are of the same mind, their edge can cut through metal."5 The people of both sides of the Straits, regardless of their parties, social strata, religions, or localities, should support each other in achieving national rejuvenation and the Chinese Dream as quickly as possible.
We treat the people of Taiwan in all sincerity, and we are open to advice from all sides. We will do our best to deal properly with any matter concerning the wellbeing of our compatriots in Taiwan, the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, and the overall interests of the Chinese nation. We will do our best to ensure that the people of Taiwan benefit from the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, and to ensure that all Chinese people live a better life.
Enjoy your stay here! Thank you!
* Speech delivered when receiving Lien Chan, honorary chairman of the Kuomintang of China, and his delegation.
1 In 1895, China was defeated in the Sino-Japanese War, and was forced to sign the Treaty of Shimonoseki, ceding to Japan Taiwan and the Penghu Islands, which were returned to China after Japan's unconditional surrender in 1945 at the end of World War II.
2 This refers to the Taiwan Straits. Early immigrants to Taiwan from the mainland of China mostly chose to cross the Straits via the Penghu water area, where sea currents were swift and shipwrecks frequent. Since the sea water looked dark, and the journey was perilous, the immigrants called this area the "Black Ditch."
3 The "1992 Consensus" refers to an oral agreement reached at a November 1992 meeting between the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF). The meeting discussed how to express the one-China principle in negotiations on general affairs, and agreed that both sides would follow the one-China principle, each with its respective interpretation.
4 Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925), also known as Sun Wen and Sun Zhongshan, was revered as a great national hero, a patriot, and a forerunner of the Chinese democratic revolution. He put forward the political philosophy known as the "Three Principles of the People" – nationalism, democracy and the people's livelihood. He was the first to call for the revival of the Chinese nation, and under his leadership, the rule of absolute monarchy that had lasted for thousands of years in China was finally ended by the Revolution of 1911. Later, with the help of the CPC, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Vladimir Lenin, Sun Yat-sen reorganized the Kuomintang, adopted the "New Three Principles of the People" – which consisted of "alliance with the Soviets, alliance with the Communist Party of China and helping the farmers and workers" – established cooperation between the Kuomintang and the Communists, and advanced the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal democratic revolution in China.
5 The Book of Changes (Yi Jing), also known as I Ching.
(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)