Beijing yesterday condemned Taiwan "president" Chen Shui-bian for his attempt
to change the island's name and "territorial" definitions, warning any move
towards formal "independence" would not be tolerated.
Chen proposed the possible change at a seminar on Sunday and has instigated
his ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to include the issue in its "draft
Taiwan "President" Chen Shui-bian delivers a
speech at the opening ceremony of Taiwan Nano-X2006 exhibition in Taipei
September 27, 2006.
While pushing for the "constitutional re-engineering project," the
independence-leaning DPP is studying "constitutional" changes to name the island
the "Republic of Taiwan", instead of "Republic of China", and redefine its
Members of the DPP, which enshrines formal "Taiwan independence" in its party
platform, are expected to introduce "legislation" on the new "constitution" next
"We will never waver on our position of opposing 'Taiwan independence'," said
Li Weiyi, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, China's
"We will never tolerate any move to seek Taiwan's de jure independence
through 'constitutional' change."
He told a regular press conference that the mainland "will closely watch and
stay on high alert to new developments" in Taiwan's "constitutional" reform.
"Anyone who attempts to make Taiwan secede from China by any means is playing
with fire and doomed to a disgraceful defeat," Li added while reading a
strongly-worded prepared statement.
The spokesman did not specify what actions will be taken in response to a
secessionist push by Chen. But the National People's Congress, China's top
legislature, last year approved the Anti-Secession Law to curb any secessionist
scheme to pursue formal "independence" for the island.
Beijing claims Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, and both the mainland
and Taiwan are part of one and the same China.
Chen had repeatedly pledged to shun the sensitive issue of "sovereignty and
territory" after he came to power in May 2000 but following his re-election in
2004, the leader vowed to write a new "constitution" for the island before his
second term ends in May 2008.
Chen's new proposal for "territorial" change in the "constitution" has sent
out a "dangerous signal" of his pursuing de jure "independence" through
"constitutional" change, Li said.
"It once again demonstrates that he is a discredited man and his political
personality has completely gone bankrupt," he told reporters.