Sun, Mar 20, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Chinese law requires firm response

After the Chinese National People's Congress enacted the "Anti-Secession" Law on Monday, the Taiwanese people have been outraged. Many countries, including the US and Japan, have voiced serious criticism as well, demonstrating that most people still know in their hearts what is right and wrong.

The official response of the government came out on Wednesday. President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) made a six-point declaration, seriously, rationally and firmly explaining the position of this country in a thorough manner.

At the same time, Chen called on the people, saying that they must not choose to remain silent or stand idly by in the face of evil, and that the opposition and ruling camps must be unified in taking the streets on March 26 to demonstrate the collective will of the people.

In his talk on Wednesday, in addition to making appeals to the other side of the Taiwan Strait from the standpoints of democracy, liberty and human rights -- three areas in which Taiwan has major accomplishments -- Chen also asked the international community to give due attention to Chinese military expansion and aggressive ambitions. He went on to emphasize that members of the international community must not become the accomplices of an aggressor, and that the lifting of the arms embargo by the EU is without justification.

The people of Taiwan now have two hopes: one, for the ruling and opposition camps to leave behind their differences in standing up to the common enemy; two, in standing up for the people's rights hand-in-hand, so as to speak out in defense of Taiwan's interests with one voice. Not only should the ruling and opposition camps take the lead in the march scheduled for March 26, but in facing the series of challenges to Taiwan in the days to come, both camps should act selflessly and leave behind their past rivalry and grudge.

Everyone must work together for the greater interest of the country. In addition, at a time when the international community feels sympathetic toward the predicament of Taiwan, both the ruling and opposition camps must come to the realization that the interests of the country come above those of the parties.

Things change rapidly within the international community. All camps must do their best in seeking the backing of the international community and think together about how to act proactively and strengthen the strategic position of this country, so as to win over international military and political support.

Some people have asked what the big deal is about the enactment of the law by China, seeking to play down the significance of the whole thing.

In particular, after Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) and Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) gave feel-good speeches to the press, some people began to think that China has goodwill toward Taiwan and that there is no need for the country to "over-react" or "act provocatively." However, the truth is that Taiwan must act.

After we carefully examine the content of the law and the words of Hu and Wen, we believe that there has been a structural change in the cross-strait relationship, and that Taiwan cannot afford to ignore it. The law is noteworthy in the following respects:

First, it explicitly treats the "Taiwan issue" as an internal affair of China and even states that the lives and properties of the Taiwanese people should be protected during wartime.

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