Sun, Feb 01, 2004 - Page 8 News List


EU, US should cooperate

The implicit agenda in France's heavy-lifting for China is to assert that Paris' foreign policy is independent from Washington's, as well as being payback for the perceived slight by the administration of US President George W. Bush on the Iraqi War ("Et tu, Chirac?" Jan. 28, page 1).

The EU would commit a "grave error" by selling arms to China. Such sales violate the EU's own code of conduct on human rights and of not proliferating arms to "areas of conflict." China has 500 missiles aimed at Taiwan, and selling more arms to China will further tip the military balance in its favor.

The US will not welcome the prospect of having American EP-3s intercepted by Chinese pilots flying French Mirages. The US and the EU should work together to defuse this possibility.

Vincent Wang Wei-cheng


The blind do not fear guns

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party Chairman James Soong(宋楚瑜) do not think Taiwan's sovereignty is in enough danger to justify a defensive referendum.

Apparently, they are not taking China's missiles seriously enough.

As a Taiwanese saying goes, "Blind people are not afraid of guns." I hope Lien and Soong are not blind. Probably, they will support the defensive referendum only after the first missile hits Taiwan.

Even if China launched its 496 missiles leisurely one after another at an interval of seven minutes per missile, Taiwan would be flattened in less than 58 hours. The referendum and sovereignty would be moot.

Lien and Soong claim that they already know the answers to the two referendum topics proposed by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). If so, they should encourage blue-camp legislators to vote for increased military budgets and to insist on negotiations between Taiwan's and China's governments on a parity basis, without any preconditions.

In the last four years, the opposition camp has opposed practically everything for the sake of opposition. The most typical opposition figure is Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who is now trying to stop the defensive referendum. They also complain that the referendum is too costly. If they return the assets taken away unlawfully from the people, hundreds of referenda and anti-missile weapons can be amply financed and Taiwan will be in a good position to negotiate.

Charles Hong

Columbus, Ohio

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