Sat, Mar 27, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Pan-blues shrug off China's threats of crisis intervention

By Melody Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH REUTERS

China, in its strongest statement yet on the political crisis convulsing Taiwan since its controversial election, warned yesterday it would not stand idly by if the situation spirals out of control.

"We will not sit by watching should the post-election situation in Taiwan get out of control, leading to social turmoil, endangering the lives and property of our flesh-and-blood brothers and affecting stability across the Taiwan strait," Beijing's policy-making Taiwan Affairs Office said in a statement.

It reiterated that China was paying close attention to events on Taiwan, which has been racked by protests and political paralysis since President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) won re-election by the thinnest of margins on Saturday. The opposition immediately contested the result and demanded a recount.

The statement gave no further details. China's response came after angry supporters of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) stormed the Central Election Commission yesterday, but failed to stop it from formally declaring Chen the winner.

In response to China's reac-tion, People First Party (PFP) Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅), which led fierce protests outside the Central Election Commission as it officially announced the presidential election results, said China would not easily take action against Taiwan.

"China was just bluffing," when commenting on Taiwan's recent unrest, Chou said. "It is impossible that China would interfere in our affairs."

KMT spokesman Alex Tsai (蔡正元), on the other hand, asked China not to get involved into the present situation in Taiwan.

Its intervention will only complicate the situation, he said.

"China would only interfere into Taiwan affairs when Taiwan declares independence, faces uprisings or is invaded by other countries," said Tsai.

He urged Chen to take concrete action to find a solution to the current unrest.

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