Wed, Dec 22, 2004 - Page 8 News List


Beijing upping the ante

According to a Dec. 17 Xinhua News Agency report, China's parliament is ready to ratify an anti-secession law that will mandate military action against Taiwan if it declares formal independence.

This plan is a concrete step taken after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) made it known on May 9 that Beijing was seriously considering the enactment of a "unification law."

Whether it is an "anti-secession" or "unification" law, it is essentially an anti-Taiwan law to be employed by Beijing to justify its attempt to annex Taiwan. In July, Jiang Zemin (江澤民), then chairman of China's Central Military Commission, called on the People's Liberation Army to develop the military capacity to take Taiwan by 2020. The fact is, China has been busy upgrading its military capabilities and enhancing its position against Taiwan.

In response to China's plan to enact an anti-secession law, Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, said that the Chinese are attempting to "unilaterally change the cross-strait status quo."

In addition to being a threat to Taiwan, Wu added, the anti-Taiwan law "is likely to become the biggest threat to regional peace and stability in Asia."

If and when the proposed law is adopted, Taiwan must counter with the enactment of an independence law mandating that the moment China attacks Taiwan, Taiwan will automatically declare formal independence.

Ching-chih Chen

San Marcos, California

Race to the bottom

I was dismayed to read the article in your paper on what the National Yunlin University of Science and Technology is doing ("University tries hiring Russian lecturers cheaply," Dec. 10, page 4).

The university is offering to pay Russian lecturers NT$10,000 per month to teach in Taiwan, as they are only receiving the equivalent of NT$7,000 a month back home. This is morally reprehensible. Should we take advantage of the poverty in other countries for our own greed and selfish gain? Should we create second-class citizens who will receive less than the minimum salary while teaching at a university level? What kind of self-respect will they have with such treatment? This would create a deplorable situation.

Perhaps next, we can go to Darfur, where the starving may be willing to work for a boxed lunch. This is a poorly conceived and totally unacceptable plan. The university's president, Lin Tsong-ming (林聰明), should be reminded that university presidents in China work for much smaller salaries, and that a cheap one could be found to replace him.

Chaim Melamed


`Third party' blacklisting

China is probably the only country engaging in blacklisting non-Chinese citizens from visiting other countries. This practice is rare and I will call it "third party" blacklisting for the lack of an appropriate term.

Whether Japan will or will not issue a visitor visa to former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) is strictly between the two principals -- Japan and Lee in this case. This is none of China's business. China does not have to play a "third party" role.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is another famous victim of China's "third party" blacklisting. He cannot attend annual APEC meetings, accept prestigious international awards, give a speech in the UN press club, or visit countries other than Taiwan's 26 diplomatic allies -- all because of China's opposition. In the US, Chen's mobility and activity are restricted. For example, he cannot visit Washington, even for sightseeing.

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