Beijing lambastes Taiwan leader's UN bid

Updated: 2007-09-16 19:42

BEIJING -- A Chinese mainland official has lashed out at Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian's "Taiwan independence" remarks made on Saturday.

During a rally on Saturday, Chen feverishly whipped up support for his "referendum" plan on the island's entry into the United Nations, and told the lie of "Taiwan being a sovereign state."

"The situation of the rally shows that Chen's 'referendum' plan fails to get support from the masses," a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said in Beijing Sunday.

The issue, however, keeps developing. And "we will keep a close watch over developments on the other side of the Strait and has got prepared to cope with serious situations," said the spokesman.

Taiwan authorities sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in July, raising an application to join the United Nations in the name of "Taiwan." Meanwhile, Chen Shui-bian has been pushing for a plan to hold a "referendum" inside Taiwan on its entry to the United Nations.

Chen's "referendum" plan has been strongly opposed and seriously denounced by compatriots across the Taiwan Strait and in international community.

The plan was just a method for Chen to seek personal interests, said the spokesman, noting that the move was made "at the cost of jeopardizing cross-Straits peace and stability and the fundamental interests of the Taiwan people."

The spokesman said the mainland has been endeavoring to improve cross-Straits relations with the utmost effort, but will never allow any people to separate Taiwan from the motherland in any manner.

US urged to cancel arms sales to Taiwan

Also in Beijing, China on Sunday voiced its strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to the US tentative plans of arms sales to Taiwan and urges the United States to immediately cancel the plans.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said China firmly opposes the US arms sales to Taiwan. "Our position is consistent and clear," she said.

She said the United States would seriously violate its commitments to China made in the three Sino-US joint communiques, in particular the joint communique signed between the two countries on August 17, 1982, if it sells P-3C antisubmarine aircraft and other advanced weapons to Taiwan.

She said the arms sales to Taiwan also constitutes wanton interference in China's internal affairs, noting the Chinese side has expressed strong objection and lodged a solemn protest with the US.

The US Department of Defense on Wednesday announced tentative plans to sell 12 P-3C antisubmarine aircraft and 144 cruise missiles to Taiwan.

The current situation across the Taiwan Straits is "very complicated and sensitive", Jiang said, referring to Taiwan authority's push for a referendum on UN membership in the name of Taiwan.

Jiang urged the United States to adhere to its solemn commitments on the Taiwan issue with concrete actions, immediately cancel the tentative plans of arms sales to Taiwan, stop selling weapons to Taiwan, end its military links with Taiwan and stop sending any wrong signals to "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces.

"China reserve the rights of further action", Jiang said.

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