Sat, Oct 11, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Chen tells Beijing to ditch `one China'

DOUBLE TEN On the 92nd anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China, the president pressed his cross-strait rivals to open the `door to cooperation'

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Some cheerleaders from Shu Te Home Economic and Commercial High School in Kaohsiung yesterday perform during the National Day celebrations in front of the Presidential Office.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

In his fourth Double Ten National Day speech since he came to power, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) appealed to Beijing to abandon its "one China" ideology and end its military threats to create the possibility of peace between Taiwan and China.

"The `door to cooperation' and the `door to peace' will always exist between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait," Chen said in his address to the public and foreign guests in front of the Presidential Office yesterday morning.

"The `door to cooperation' can open only if the `one China' and `one country, two systems' formulas are put aside," he said. "And the `door to peace' can open only when China renounces its threat to resort to the use of force and halts its strategic attempts to isolate Taiwan internationally."

Chen reaffirmed that he must safeguard Taiwan's sovereignty, security and dignity and ensure its sustainable development.

"Only those who do not believe in themselves and do not believe in Taiwan will succumb to hegemony, make concessions for peace, or try to convince us that China's military intimidation and coercion compels us to accept the so-called `one China' principle," he said.

Chen also expressed appreciation to the heads of state, ambassadors and delegations representing Taiwan's allies who were attending the 92nd anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China (ROC). Taiwan was a Japanese colony when the ROC was founded in 1911.

"All these years, Taiwan has been able to take an active role in the international arena, not merely because of our strong economic and trade capabilities, but, more importantly, as recognition of our relentless pursuit to put into practice our foundation of democracy and freedom," Chen said.

"Some argue that there will be more room for Taiwan on the international stage if we accept the `one China' principle. However, if we compromise our stance on sovereignty and relinquish our existing democracy and freedom, we will waive our right to join international organizations, and it will be impossible for us to ever have a voice in the global community," he said.

On the economy, Chen said: "The signs of economic recovery are increasingly evident, and momentum is building, while the most difficult times are now behind us. The indicators and ratings of international institutions provide an optimistic forecast for Taiwan's future economic performance."

"We ourselves should have faith in Taiwan," he said, "and there is no reason to heed the pessimistic rhetoric of a few."

Stressing his resolution to facilitate the development of cross-strait trade as well as his confidence in winning next year's presidential election, Chen said that though China gave no positive response to his recent proposal -- "one objective and three stages" for direct cross-strait transportation -- the government will continue to do its part.

"I have no doubt that after the presidential election next year, the development of cross-strait trade will enter a new phase," he said.

Chen ended his speech by calling on the public to have faith in democracy, in reform and in Taiwan.

During government celebrations at the Presidential Office later yesterday, Chen was to say that the government must accomplish constitutional reform by uniting all 23 million people of the country to realize the birth of a new constitution.

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