Tue, Dec 28, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Anti-secession bill makes no sense

By Paul Lin林保華

China has again aroused the attention of Taiwan and the rest of the world by announcing it will enact an "anti-secession law." People in Taiwan have become somewhat immune to the incident since President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) previously brought up China's intention to enact unification legislation. Therefore, the psychological impact on people should not be too great, if there is any at all.

Since it is going to be a law, people have begun to address this issue on the legal front. A swift response first came from Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) and Chen Lung-chu (陳隆志), a national policy advisor and president of the Taiwan New Century Foundation.

Lu said that "China has its own Constitution, while we have our own. China uses its own currency and we use our own ... Therefore, China, even with a plan to pass the anti-secession legislation, can never assert its control over Taiwan. China may even have its jurisdiction over Xinjiang and Tibet, but definitely not Taiwan."

Chen added that "the cross-strait relationship is defined as state-to-state, so it should come under international law. The so-called anti-secession law is a domestic law of China, with which China has no way to get Taiwan under its control."

Chen also said that as China is pushing for unification on a "legal" basis, to respond effectively Taiwan should stand firm on the "one country on each side" of the Taiwan Strait stance proposed by Chen, work toward writing a new constitution for Taiwan, strive to rectify the country's name and gain entry to the UN.

The truth is that Taiwan and China are not united, otherwise there could be no discussion of unification. Neither side has jurisdiction over the other. In the past, when Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation and its counterpart, China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, were dealing with cross-strait affairs, respecting each other's jurisdictions was a matter of great importance. In this regard, whatever law China is going to enact, Taiwan will never fall under the jurisdiction of China.

Otherwise, Taiwan would not have become what it is today and would instead have become one of China's so-called "autonomous zones" or "special administrative regions." China's Constitution already states that Taiwan is part of China's "sacred territory," yet when has the rule come into force within Taiwan? China just repeats the same thing each time they amend their Constitution.

Now that China has launched this legal warfare, Taiwan should respond on a legal front by enacting a new constitution. The move would serve not only as a response to China's proposed anti-secession law but also to the constitutional parlance of "sacred territory" that has been in existence for decades.

Naturally, that China has put forward the idea of anti-secession legislation at this juncture has its own political background. First, ever since Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) took unified control over the government, he has been trying to gain control over the cross-strait situation by coming up with something new to replace "Jiang's Eight Points," proposed by former Chinese president Jiang Zemin (江澤民). If he succeeds in accomplishing "a great cause of reunification," his name will go down in history.

Second, Beijing thinks Taiwan's pro-independence camp suffered a setback in the legislative elections. Therefore, they wanted to give an extra boost to the morale of the winning pro-unification camp. We can see that some of Taiwan's media was so excited about the results of the election that they spared no pains to express their pro-China viewpoints and to denigrate Taiwan.

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