Sun, Dec 19, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Proposed law busts `eased cross-strait tensions' myth

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The timing of China's announcement to enact a so-called "anti-secession" law busted the myth that the pan-blue camp's perceived upper hand in Taiwan's politics would help ease cross-strait tensions, political observers said yesterday.

"China is not naive. China does not trust the pan-blues nor does it have confidence in the pan-blues," said Ruan Ming (阮銘), an advisor to the Taiwan Research Institute's strategic and international studies department.

China's Xinhua news agency reported on Friday that Beijing is planning on drawing up anti-secession legislation, with Taiwan as its main target. Leaders of China's parliament will deliberate the law at a meeting starting on Dec. 25, the report said.

The report came in the wake of Taiwan's legislative elections held last Saturday in which the pan-blue camp, consisting of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party (PFP), which harbored a more conciliatory attitude toward China, won a small majority in the new legislature.

Counter to its high expectations and predictions, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), along with its political ally the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), failed to garner a majority in the legislature.

Although the DPP remained the largest party in the legislature with 89 seats of the available 225 seats, it fell far short of its targeted goal of 101 seats. The TSU garnered a mere 12 seats.

The pan-blue opposition retained its slim majority with 79 seats won by the KMT, the PPF's 34 seats and one seat from the New Party, grabbing a combined total of 114 seats in the new legislature which will take office in February.

"While the pan-blue camp's slim majority in the legislature might somehow have eased pressure from China, China knows this [the pan-blue's majority in the legislature] does not guarantee unification," Ruan said.

"Because China is not that naive, it knows that the pan-blue camp did not really win a majority in the recent legislative elections," he said.

Ruan was previously a special assistant to the late secretary general of the Chinese Communist Party, Hu Yaoban (胡耀邦).

"China does not count on the pan-blues anymore, it now counts on the US," Ruan said, referring to China's recent efforts to get the US to assert pressure on Taiwan on Beijing's behalf.

While some analysts said that Beijing's plan to enact the law means that it is preparing the legal groundwork for a future military attack against Taiwan, Ruan, who also serves as senior advisor to the president, said the proposed law by China is nothing more than its usual "United Front (統戰)" strategy against Taiwan.

The "United Front" refers to tactics and efforts employed by Beijing aimed at extending its influence in Taiwan to aid unification.

"Taiwan is an independent sovereignty. Beijing's proposed law therefore would not have any bearing on Taiwan," Ruan said, adding that "the proposed law would be a move aimed mainly at intimidating the people of Taiwan."

China's plan to enact the law also disproved another myth called "one China," TSU caucus whip Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘) said.

"The proposed law from China would further allow no breathing room for the `Republic of China,' and [the proposed law] would give China an excuse to step up its threat against Taiwan," Chen said.

With that said, Chen called on the pan-blue camp to stop indulging themselves in the "one China" myth.

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