Beijing: Referendum plan provocative
( 2004-01-17 21:38) (chinadaily.com.cn)
Beijing on Saturday accused Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian of using a planned referendum to prepare for a formal declaration of independence.
"This is a one-sided provocation to the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait, and its essence is to use the referendum to realize Taiwan independence in the future," a spokesman for the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office said.
"We are resolutely opposed to this move on the separatist road to 'Taiwan independence'," according to the spokesman.
Also on Saturday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan reiterated Beijing's strong opposition to Chen's push for independence.
He urged the US side to stick to its commitment on the Taiwan issue and continue to clearly oppose the Taiwan authorites using referendum to prepare for independence.
Kong said that the mainland has noticed that US President George W. Bush has made it clear that the US stick to the one-China policy, abide by the three Sino-US joint communiques, oppose Taiwan independence, and oppose any attempt by the Taiwan leaders to change the status quo. The US authority has reiterated this stance several times.
On Friday, Chen outlined plans for a referendum he said was aimed at preventing the mainland from attacking Taiwan and from unilaterally changing the political status quo.
The referendum will ask voters if Taiwan should buy better anti-missile weapons if the mainland refuses to pull back missiles aimed at the island, and if Taiwan should talk to Beijing to create a peaceful and stable framework for future relations.
Tensions across the Taiwan Straits have been simmering since Taiwan passed a controversial bill in November allowing referendums to be held for the first time.
Analysts say Chen toned down the referendum, to be held alongside the March 20 "presidential" elections, in the hope that this would ease concern in Washington that he is stirring up trouble.
Beijing, nevertheless, reacted harshly, saying Chen had destroyed ties between the two sides "under the pretence of peace and democracy."
"Chen Shui-bian has disregarded the immediate interests of the Taiwan people and the universal opposition of the international community," the spokesman said.
In December, U.S. President George W. Bush told visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao that he opposed a Taiwan referendum which might lead the island towards independence.
|.contact us |.about us|
|Copyright By chinadaily.com.cn. All rights reserved|