Wed, Mar 02, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: Stand up to China's legislation

According to the Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po daily, which cited a Chinese legal expert, China's National People's Congress (NPC) will convene on Saturday to discuss the proposed "anti-secession" law. According to the expert, the legislation would authorize China's State Council and the Central Military Commission (CMC) to "strike Taiwan" in an emergency situation without prior approval from China's leadership, in order to deter unspecified independence activities.

The report was released as Taiwan was commemorating the 228 Incident, in which the regime of former dictator Chiang Kai-shek massacred thousands of Taiwanese people in 1947 after the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) took control of Taiwan from the Japanese. Therefore, this message resonated strongly as foreign interference in Taiwan's internal affairs. For many Taiwanese, the message also sounds obviously harsh.

The Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is above any other organization, has a strong hold on power and executes its policies through the CMC. In other words, the Politiburo's resolutions are usually executed by its party, political and military organizations, endorsed by the NPC and united front organizations such as the People's Political Consultative Conference, and propagated by state-controlled news agencies such as Xinhua. In view of this, important issues about whether to take military action against a nation are the responsibility of the Politburo and its subordinate CMC. How could the NPC, which is only the rubber stamp of the party and the government, enact a law and ask its superior decision-making body to implement the resolution it has proposed?

We cannot help but ask, since when has China become a country that espouses the rule of law and respects public opinion? Furthermore, since the members of the NPC have never been directly elected by the Chinese people, how can they truly represent the public in enacting laws?

Because neither the Politburo or the CMC will take orders from the NPC, we see that this startling statement was intentionally made by the NPC to provoke public opinion in Taiwan. The planning of the law is used to stir up cross-strait conflict, lest political heavyweights in China become too lonely and bored, deprived of attention from domestic and international media.

However, from Taiwan's standpoint, Taiwan has never been a part of China, and there has never been any territorial agreement reached between the two nations. Questions on whether Taiwan should declare its independence, change its national title or other issues should be Taiwan's business, and Beijing has no business saying anything about them. The NPC's taking such a highly provocative course will only lead to misuse of the anti-secession law by CCP members and China's hawkish military officials. These people could use the law to threaten Taiwan, and create all sorts of exaggerated pretexts to threaten Taiwan's economic stability.

From Taiwan's perspective, the NPC's irresponsibility lies in its intention to unilaterally change the status quo of cross-strait peace. And it is intolerable that such behavior is overlooked by the international community. In fact, enforcing the anti-secession law will not force China's military officials to abide by the rules, nor will it facilitate smooth interaction between people on both sides of the Strait, or promote mutual understanding.

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