Mon, Feb 28, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Hsieh monitoring `anti-secession' law developments

WAIT AND SEE The government will formulate its reaction to China's proposed `anti-secession' law after it is established, the premier said yesterday

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

While last week's meeting between President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) had demonstrated its friendly attitude toward China, the government will take a wait and see attitude in deciding how to deal with the enactment of an "anti-secession" law next month, Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said yesterday.

"Although Chen and Soong reached a consensus on promoting permanent charter flights, lifting high technology investment restrictions in China, and even opening up the `three big links' with China, the government will ... decide how to deal with the expected anti-secession law when it is eventually established," Hsieh said at a tea party with reporters held by the Cabinet yesterday afternoon.

China is expected to discuss a draft of an anti-secession law on March 8 during a session of the National People's Congress.

Hsieh said that as the anti-secession law would offer a legal basis for China to use military force to solve cross-strait problems, the government is taking the law very seriously.

Meanwhile, asked about the idea of creating a new Taiwan constitution, Hsieh said the current Constitution has already been "Taiwanized."

"The current Constitution, amended six times since 1992, has already been Taiwanized. So unlike the Taiwan Solidarity Union's (TSU) denial of the current Constitution and PFP's desire to maintain it, the government and the DPP's position is to amend the current Constitution to fit Taiwan," Hsieh said.

He said the government recognized that the Constitution had been designed to govern China, and welcomed all citizens to join discussions on constitutional amendments later this year.

"Taiwan must come up a new amended Constitution useful for it to join the international community. If the various parties continually just tackle the issue of national identity, we will probably never step into the international community," he said.

Asked about Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan's (連戰) plan to visit China in April, Hsieh said that he offered his best wishes to Lien and welcomed any activity which could promote better cross-strait relations.

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