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Beijing vows to crush independence attempt
By Xing Zhigang (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-11-17 21:47

Beijing pledged Wednesday it would not hesitate to crush Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian's attempt to formalize independence through writing a new "constitution" for the island.

Li Weiyi, the spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said Chen's "constitutional" reform aims to permanently separate Taiwan from China.

The move has once again exposed Chen's separatist nature and goes against all historical facts and laws that have proven Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, he added.

"If Chen Shui-bian dares to use this to create any major incidents leading to Taiwan independence, we will resolutely and completely smash such separatist attempts whatever the cost," Li told a regular news conference.

The spokesman made the comments in response to Chen's recent claim that Taiwan needs a "timely, relevant and viable constitution" to make the island "a normal and complete country."

Chen vowed to bring Taiwan a new "constitution" in his second and final four-year term that ends in 2008.

Li urged the international community and people on the island province to see through Chen's hypocrisy and double-dealing in developing cross-Straits relations as well as his intention to cover up his separatist conspiracy.

On the one hand, Chen has pretended to make conciliatory and peaceful gestures by calling for the resumption of bilateral talks.

But he has obstinately intensified his pro-independence drive to create confrontation and tension across the Straits.

Chen said publicly on November 8 that China is "an enemy and a foreign country."

Meanwhile, his Democratic Progressive Party-controlled administration plans to re-write the high school curriculum to separate the history of the island from that of China, as part of a drive to foster a stronger Taiwan identity.

"We have not seen where (Chen's) positive attitude lies," Li told reporters.

"The facts have continually demonstrated his false attitude towards rapprochement and his real aim to push for Taiwan independence and create tension and confrontation."

The spokesman also accused Chen of plotting to seek United Nations membership under the name "Taiwan" in stead of the "republic of China."

He described the scheme as another major step by Chen to alienate the island even more from China and pursue Taiwan independence.

"As a part of China, Taiwan is simply not qualified to join the United Nations, which is comprised only of sovereign nations. China's right of representation at the United Nations includes Taiwan," said Li.

The "republic of China" was kicked out of the United Nations in 1971, when the General Assembly adopted resolution 2758, which declared the People's Republic of China "as the only legitimate representative of China."

Taipei's UN bid has failed for 12 years in a row as most countries support the one-China policy and recognize that Taiwan is part of China.

On economic issues, Li said close trade relations across the Taiwan Straits have become one of the main pillars supporting Taiwan's economic development.

The mainland is Taiwan's largest export destination, while Taiwan is the second largest source of imports for the mainland.

But Li complained that Taipei's discriminatory trade policies have hindered the normal development of cross-Straits trade.

The mainland had accumulated a trade deficit of US$261 billion by the end of September, as a result of Taiwan's intentional and restrictive measures against mainland products, according to the spokesman.

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