Secession talk is a dangerous step

By Li Fangchao (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-03-06 07:03

Beijing yesterday slammed Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian's intensified talk of independence, saying it was another "dangerous step" towards secession.

On Sunday, Chen said he wanted independence, a new "constitution" and new names for local firms that don't include the word "China".

He also said that choosing between the "left or right course" wasn't a problem for Taiwan, but choosing between "unification or independence" was.

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"Chen was undisguisedly preaching secessionist ideas, another dangerous step towards 'Taiwan independence'," the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said in a statement late last night.

"He has replaced the 'four nos' with 'four wants', which shows once again that Chen is a faithless politician."

Taking office in 2000, Chen pledged to adhere to "four nos" no declaration of independence, no incorporation of "two states" clauses into the "constitution," no change of the province's name and no referendum on "Taiwan independence".

Chen's attempt to seek "Taiwan Independence" poses a huge threat to peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and to Asia and the Pacific, the statement said.

It added that the mainland would continue to endeavor to improve cross-Straits relations with the utmost sincerity and effort and would be highly vigilant against any secessionist moves and never allow secessionists to separate Taiwan from China in name or form.

Chen's personal gains

The statement said Chen's secessionist attempts are aimed at shoring up his personal gains and shifting public attention away from corruption investigations into members of his family.

"Whoever wants independence will become a criminal in history," Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing told reporters yesterday on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the National People's Congress.

Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday pledged that the mainland strongly opposes any secessionist activity in Taiwan.

"We will remain committed to the basic principle of peaceful reunification and 'one country, two systems' and vigorously expand exchanges and cooperation between the two sides," Wen said in his annual government work report.

Xinhua contributed to the story

(China Daily 03/06/2007 page5)

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