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Beijing reaffirms stand against independence
By Xing Zhigang (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-04-12 23:38

A senior Taiwan affairs official Monday reiterated Beijing's determination to crush Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian's "evil attempt" to promote formal independence in the future.

Zhang Mingqing, assistant director of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office. [newsphoto/file]

Zhang Mingqing, assistant director of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, stressed that the mainland will never allow anybody to split Taiwan from China in any form.

"No person nor force should underestimate the determination and capability of the Chinese Government and its 1.3 billion people to safeguard national unity and sovereignty and territorial integrity at any price," he said.

Zhang made the remarks during the Global Seminar on the Peaceful Reunification of China, which was held in San Francisco in the United States.

Hundreds of overseas Chinese from Europe, Africa, North and South Americas and delegates from the mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong attended the two-day event that was sponsored by the North California Council for the Peaceful Reunification of China.

A declaration was released Monday at the end of the seminar, calling for more than 50 million overseas Chinese around the world to join together to fight against Taiwan independence and promote the peaceful reunification of China.

The declaration also included a five-point agreement reached among participants, which included the adherence to the "one-China" principle, support for peaceful reunification and the "one country, two systems" principle and firm opposition to any pro-independence activities.

During his speech at the seminar, Zhang highlighted Chen's wanton advocacy of "Taiwan independence" in a recent interview with the Washington Post.

On March 29, the Taiwan leader told the newspaper that he will push ahead with his plans to adopt a new "constitution" for the island by 2008, a step tantamount to a declaration of independence, despite the risk of war.

The move has "further exposed Chen's pro-independence nature as well as his evil motives to push ahead with his splittist timetable," said Zhang.

He said such an act has also laid bare the fraudulence of Chen's earlier vow to set up the so-called "peace and stability framework" across the Taiwan Straits.

It is the first time that a mainland official has directly commented on Chen's pro-independence push since the island's "presidential" election on March 20.

On March 26, Taiwan's "central election committee" certified the "re-election" of Chen by just 0.2 per cent, or less than 30,000 votes more than his rival out of more than 13 million ballots cast.

Opposition candidate Lien Chan, however, has filed two lawsuits with the local high court to nullify the election, alleging that the poll was marred by numerous voting irregularities.

Zhang also condemned the "peace referendum" that was willfully held by Chen alongside the election as an immoral move to promote separatism under a veil of democracy.

The plebiscite turned out to be invalid because less than half of the eligible voters took part.

The failure of the referendum has "proven that Chen's illegal act to provoke the mainland and split the motherland goes against the will of the people," Zhang said.

In another development, Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan Monday urged Washington to stop its implementation of the Taiwan Relations Act and not to send any wrong signals to pro-independence forces in Taiwan.

His comment came in response to a recent statement by the State Department about the US commitment to the act, which was passed by Congress in 1979. It requires the United States to sell Taiwan weapons to maintain a so-called self-defence capability.

Kong said the US should strictly abide by the three Sino-US joint communiques and its commitments to Beijing over the Taiwan issue.

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