Wed, Mar 30, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Chen blasts KMT's trip

DERANGED ACTION The president said that Chiang Pin-kun's visit to China was a foolish move that was out of place and that only serves the KMT

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) delegation that has traveled to China to push for cooperation and reconciliation with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is "seemingly deranged with regard to space and time," President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday.

"It is unimaginable that this could happen at this time, when Taiwan is already implementing democratic and Constitutional rule. What [accord] could possibly be achieved through KMT-CCP co-operation?" Chen asked. His remarks yesterday were his first public comments about the KMT delegation's visit to China.

Headed by KMT Vice Chairman Chiang Pin-kun (江丙坤), the 34-member delegation is on a five-day visit to China. Chiang's trip comes at a sensitive time, when many people are angered by Beijing's "Anti-Secession" Law, which sanctions the use of "non-peaceful means" against Taiwan.

In reference to Chiang's trip, Chen said "recently `someone' has traveled to the other side of the Strait to push for `reconciliation between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party' ... the situation seems to be out of place and time, as if they had turned the clock back 60 to 80 years ago, when the two parties were trying to find common ground."

"It is now 2005. We have entered the 21st century, and a country can only progress by moving forward and not backpedalling. Is it right then to go back to 1945, 1935 or 1925?" Chen asked rhetorically, alluding to previous periods of KMT-CCP cooperation in the 1920s and during World War II.

"Taiwan has implemented democratic and constitutional rule. Can we now put a party above the nation?" Chen said in a speech delivered at the inauguration of an educational institute hosted by the National Youth Commission (青輔會) "Is it possible that we are supposed to return to the old days and do what the Chinese Communist Party still does: Let a party keep an iron grip on the government and the military?"

Chen said that "placing our hope in the people and upholding the principle of `Taiwan first' are the correct and best choices to make."

Chen told the audience of young people that the biggest difference between the two sides of the Strait was not about governments, but about different lifestyles and social systems, saying that it boiled down to "democracy versus communism and peace versus threats."

"Like a divided house that cannot stand, if we can't unite among ourselves, we are then a divided country," Chen said.

"If we can't unite but continue to stay divided in a dichotomy of pan-blues and pan-greens, do we need more of the Anti-Secession Law? Our own country will fall apart first, even without the Anti-Secession Law," the president said. He added that "only a united Taiwan can stabilize cross-strait relations."

Touching upon last Saturday's demonstration denouncing the enactment of the Anti-Secession Law, the president took the opportunity to explain the significance of the march, in which hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets.

The march was significant because the motivation behind the event was the people and not politicians, Chen said, adding that political figures, including himself and Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) as well as other officials, gave no speeches.

"The 326 March for Democracy and Peace was a bona fide international press conference, not my own nor any person's press conference," Chen said. "A million people marched in the streets and, via their action, showed the world their determination to safeguard Taiwan's democracy and peace, as well as their opposition to Beijing's law."

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