Wed, Feb 16, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Government must take action on China's law

By Wu Shuh-min吳樹民

China has announced that its proposed anti-secession law will be enacted in March at the meeting of the National People's Congress. The details of the anti-secession law have yet to be released and are currently still considered secret, but Beijing has leaked some information through various channels that the law targets Taiwan and its independence activists. It will be used against anyone who propagates the idea of Taiwan's independence -- even outside China. Once this law is passed, any Taiwanese national at home or overseas could become a potential target of this law.

There has been a conspicuous lack of action taken by Taiwanese authorities to safeguard the security and freedom of Taiwanese people. Thus far, the Mainland Affairs Council has been the only government agency to come forward and call on Beijing not to enact the anti-secession law. It is worrying to think about how our government remains clueless about what to do in the face of this threat.

The enactment of the anti-secession law will certainly have repercussions for the Asia Pacific region. Although this law primarily targets Taiwan, China is also involved in other territorial conflicts.

Beijing, for example routinely bickers with Japan over the disputed Tiaoyutai (Senkaku) islands, a thought to be rich in oil reserves. India, too, does not see eye to eye with China on the border between these two countries. Vietnam and the Philippines have clashed with China over the Spratly Islands.

No one can guarantee that one day China will not extend the application of its anti-secession and use it as a pretext to attack Japan, India, Vietnam or the Philippines. If this happens, the prosperity and stability of the Asian Pacific region, and the leading role the US has been playing in this region will face a tough challenge.

China's unilateral proposal to enact the anti-secession law has encroached on the rights and interests of all Taiwanese people, unilaterally changed the status quo across the Taiwan Strait, and constitutes a new strategy by Beijing of using a legal apparatus to coerce Taiwan.

Therefore, the government should take active measures to ensure that the nation's sovereignty is not encroached upon, and to explain to the world what harm this anti-secession will do. The legislature should also enact an "anti-annexation" law or hold a referendum to counterbalance China's tyrannous act and reject the bellicose and chauvinist regime Beijing.

Wu Shuh-min is chairman of the Taiwan Society, North.

TRANSLATED BY DANIEL CHENG

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