BEIJING, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao, ruling out independence for Taiwan, Thursday proposed the two sides set up a military security confidence-building mechanism.
"We hope the two sides will discuss the establishment of a (cross-Taiwan Straits) military security confidence-building mechanism to maintain stability in their relations and reach a peace agreement through consultation," Hu said in his address at the opening in Beijing of the 18th Congress of the Communist Party, which has ruled the country since 1949.
Communist China has never given up its sovereign claim on the island nation of Taiwan, even though the two have separate governments and seeks eventual reunification. Beijing, with its powerful military and missiles, has issued numerous warnings against any attempt by Taiwan to seek independence, but bilateral relations, however, have improved in recent years.
Stressing Beijing's one-China policy, Hu, who is expected to be succeeded to the leadership post by Xi Jingping, said peaceful reunification is in the best interests of all, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
The president stressed no division of China's territory and sovereignty would be tolerated and that both sides should uphold the common stand of opposing Taiwan independence and increase their common commitment to the one-China framework, Xinhua said.
"Any separatist attempt for Taiwan independence, which undermines the common interests of the compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, is doomed to fail," he added.
As part of improving bilateral relations, Taiwan's former Premier Frank Hsieh with the pro-independence party, visited China last month, saying there should never be a war again.
Taiwan is now led by President Ma Ying-jeou, whose party, which defeated Hsieh's party in elections, has adopted a more accommodating stance with China. That policy has produced beneficial trade deals with China and lesser trade barriers between the two sides.
China, however, has bitterly opposed the U.S. defense spending bill that includes the sale of fighter planes to Taiwan.