Wed, Mar 19, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Ma won't rule out Olympic boycott over Tibet

By Mo Yan-chih and Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTERS

"It is like rubbing salt in the wounds of the Tibetans," Hsieh said. "It is unethical and cruel to isolate the Tibetans and vilify those showing them concern."

Hsieh said he wanted to know when Ma believed would be a good time for China to crack down on Tibet -- after the presidential election or after the Olympics?

"No government should suppress people demanding to decide their own future," he said. "Those who speak for the perpetrator or for the oppressor are the friends of dictatorship."

As for Ma's threat to boycott the Games if the situation in Tibet worsened, Hsieh said Ma was constantly shifting his position.

Ma's comment was made in haste and might sacrifice the country's interest, Hsieh said.

"It would exert tremendous pressure on China if Ma were to relinquish unification with China and abandon the `one China common market' to protest Beijing's bloody crackdown," he said.

Hsieh said that he had long suspected Ma is a "cold-hearted" person and that his remarks about Tibet only proved that Ma was indeed ruthless.

Internationalizing China's abuse of human rights is a way to protect Taiwan, Hsieh said, because only if Taiwan cares about Tibet will the world care about Taiwan.

Hsieh's campaign office also issued a statement opposing China's crackdown on Tibet, opposing China's intimidation of Taiwan and opposing Ma's ultimate desire for unification with China.

Hsieh said that Wen's attempt to blame the Dalai Lama for the unrest reminded him "that the remarks by totalitarian regimes are all the same, as the KMT blamed [my] campaign team for plotting the skirmish caused by four KMT legislators who barged into our campaign office [last week]."

Hsieh said both Ma and Wen promoted unification.

"I would like to know whether Ma will accept the `one China' principle since he has promised to negotiate with Beijing one year after taking office," Hsieh said. "I would also like to know how he plans to complete the negotiations if he does not accept Beijing's terms."

Hsieh urged Ma to abandon the idea of unification and a "one China common market."

Meanwhile, Government Information Office Minister Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) rebuffed Wen's comment that China "hoped to resume peace talks across the Strait as soon as possible."

"If China wanted to convince Taiwan of its sincerity in cross-strait peace talks, it should first permit Tibetans to declare independence and give Tibetans their religious freedom," Shieh said.

"It is ironic that China is preaching the spirit of peace while staging a crackdown in Tibet," he said, adding that China's offer of talks while targeting its missiles at Taiwan seemed more like a threat.

Shieh said the manner in which China has handled Tibet reflected what Beijing's "one China" principle is all about, adding that Taiwan was "lucky" to be able to enjoy democracy, human rights and freedom in the face of Beijing's actions.

"Holding the UN referendums and moving toward independence are two different things. We want to join the UN because we want to share democracy, human right and freedom with the international community and help promote these values," Shieh said.

The Mainland Affairs Council also issued a statement yesterday condemning Wen's claim that Taiwan has no right to proceed with the UN referendums on Saturday because it is part of China.

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