Fri, Feb 24, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Chen to abolish NUC soon: source

STEADFAST There was more speculation about when a decision on scrapping the council would be made, while China weighed in with a broadside against the president


President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is determined to abolish the National Unification Council (NUC) and unification guidelines and will make the final decision in the near future, a source at the Presidential Office told the Taipei Times yesterday.

"Although the president did not tell me a specific date when the final decision will be made, my impression is that he is very determined to do it and that he cannot and will not delay the process or cancel the plan," the source said.

Chen has said that he would like to see the National Security Council come up with a report on the political and legal repercussions of the plan by the end of the month.

Sanlih Entertainment Television claimed yesterday that the final announcement would be made on March 14, the first anniversary of China's "Anti-Secession" Law.

The TV station said the date had been selected on Feb. 20 when Chen met Presidential Office Secretary-General Mark Chen (陳唐山), Deputy Secretary-General Ma Yung-cheng (馬永成), senior advisor to the National Security Council Lin Chin-chang (林錦昌) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻) and Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) at the Presidential Office.

Chen Chin-jun later dismissed the TV station's report, saying that the March 14 date was his own personal speculation.

Other sources have speculated that the announcement would be made on Feb. 28, the 59th anniversary of the 228 Incident, in which tens of thousands of Taiwanese were killed by rampaging Nationalist troops.

The Presidential Office source said Chen Shui-bian had been under tremendous pressure since announcing on Lunar New Year's Day that the time was ripe to seriously consider abolishing the unification council and guidelines.

The source said he thought the president should insist on doing whatever he feels needs to be done.

"If he flinches, the consequences would be so severe that it would hurt not only him but also the party and the country," the source said.

The administration does not expect the US government to agree to everything we say or do, but it can make every effort to make them understand, the source said.

"It is impossible for two countries, including the US and its allies such as Canada or the UK, to see eye to eye on everything," the source said. "It is useless to beat around the bush with them. It is very easy for them to look down upon us if we are not sure about what we want to do and don't speak up for ourselves."

In other developments, China yesterday issued another volley of rhetoric against Chen Shui-bian, branding his plan to kill off the unification council as a "dangerous provocation."

A signed commentary by China's state-run Xinhua news agency said the president's move was aimed at diverting attention from a listless domestic economy and consolidating power.

"Taiwan's independence forces declared some propositions, they are all dangerous signals," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao (劉建超) told a regular news conference yesterday.

"To maintain stability across the Taiwan Strait is in the interests of China and other countries, so we hope relevant countries are on alert to the wrong actions and dangerous activities by Taiwan forces," Liu said.

also see stories:

KMT proposes censuring Chen over abolition plan

The gambit behind the NUC's removal

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