Taiwan referendum criticized
( 2003-12-02 00:10) (China Daily)
Mainland researchers on cross-Straits studies Monday accused Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian of starting an ill-considered attempt to initiate an independence referendum next year.
The criticism over Chen came at a seminar organized by the Beijing-based Cross-Straits Relations Research Centre to mark the 60th anniversary of the Cairo Declaration.
The document, signed by China, the United States and Britain on December 1, 1943, demanded that all the Chinese territories previously occupied by Japan, such as the northeastern parts of the mainland, Taiwan and the Penghu Islands, be returned to China.
The Cairo Declaration, a key document of international law, provided effective legal evidence for Taiwan's status as an unalienable part of China, according to about 20 scholars and experts who attended the meeting.
They agreed that Chen's push for independence through the proposed independence referendum flouts international law and should draw firm opposition from the international community.
The future of Taiwan should be determined by Chinese people as a whole, including those on the mainland, rather than only the popular will of a minority on the island, participants said.
"Chen seems to be bent on pushing ahead with his separatist scheme by plotting to call the independence vote,'' said Mu Xiankui, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences.
"His irrational and dangerous moves are tantamount to holding 23 million Taiwanese people hostage over Taiwan independence.''
The researcher stressed that die-hard pro-independence groups led by Chen have apparently stepped up their efforts to push for formal independence through radical steps.
Their biggest mistake, he added, lies in the fact that they have underestimated the determination of the Chinese Government and its people to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"Choosing independence means the choice of war, and pro-independence moves will never result in peace,'' Mu said.
The military researcher made the comments in response to Chen's alleged plan to use the island's new referendum bill that gives him the power to hold a defensive independence plebiscite in case of an "external threat.''
The Taiwan leader announced on Saturday that he wants to hold the independence vote alongside the "presidential'' elections next March, citing the "constant threat of attack'' from the mainland.
He reportedly argued that a "defensive referendum'' should be pre-emptive by nature; otherwise it would be of no use.
The "defensive referendum'' clause enshrined in Taiwan's newly-passed referendum bill gives the island leader the power to ask for a referendum on "national'' security matters when the island faces an external threat that could cause a change in "national sovereignty.''
Professor Huang Jiashu, from China's Renmin University, said Chen has been exploiting the referendum legislation as one of the major campaign tools for his re-election bid, and that the referendum bill serves only the interests of himself and his party.
"The Taiwanese public should see through Chen's pro-independence platform and keep their wish to pursue democracy from being manipulated by a handful of separatists like Chen,'' he said.
|.contact us |.about us|
|Copyright By chinadaily.com.cn. All rights reserved|