DPP pushes law against China threat

COUNTER-LEGISLATION: The DPP will release a bill today that would give the president the power to act against China without prior legislative approval

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Mon, Mar 14, 2005 - Page 1

Stepping up its opposition to China's "anti-secession" law, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is expected to unveil today a draft bill giving the president the power to take "non-peaceful" action or other necessary measures, including referendums, without the permission of the legislature in order to safeguard Taiwan's sovereignty and territory. The draft law mandates that the president must report to the legislature on any such measures within 30 days.

China's National People's Congress (NPC) is scheduled to pass its "anti-secession law" today.

While the DPP is scheduled to make public its "anti-invasion" law today, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) has proposed an "anti-annexation" law.

The DPP's bill was drafted by Trong Chai (蔡同榮), Sandy Chuang (莊和子), Wang Shu-hui (王淑慧), Chiang Chao-yi (江昭儀), Lin Kuo-ching (林國慶), Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) and DPP caucus whip Peter Lin (林進興).

Lin said his caucus will hold an international press conference at 2pm today to introduce the draft law to over 70 local and foreign media representatives.

Although only 30 signatures are required to make the petition valid, Lin said that his caucus has collected more than 50 signatures from lawmakers. They will submit the proposed law at tomorrow's plenary legislative session.

The DPP's seven-article draft states that the Taiwan issue is not a part of China's domestic affairs but an international matter, and that it is necessary and urgent to swiftly enact counter-legislation to deter China's annexation efforts.

In order to maintain a peaceful and stable relationship between Taiwan and China, the draft proposes the government adopt the following four measures.

It should take appropriate measures to push cross-strait exchanges to facilitate mutual understanding and trust between the people of Taiwan and China; push exchanges and cooperation in the areas such as trade, culture and sports; push for joint crime-fighting efforts and other projects conducive to strengthening peace, coexistence and prosperity across the Taiwan Strait and provide necessary assistance to private organizations or groups launching activities to counter the "anti-secession law."

The DPP's draft is similar to the TSU's "anti-annexation" law, which will be changed to an "anti-invasion peace" law today.

Stating that Taiwan has existed alongside China since the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC) on Oct. 1, 1949, the TSU's 11-article draft states that "Taiwan is already an independent sovereign state and it is not an issue for Taiwan to declare independence or seek separation from China."

The draft also says that the government should call a referendum and amend the Constitution to safeguard Taiwan's sovereignty if the cross-strait status quo is threatened. The president can resort to non-peaceful means to resist China's annexation, the draft states.

TSU caucus whip Lo Chih-ming (羅志明) told the Taipei Times yesterday that his caucus will also hold a press conference at 2pm today to launch a signature drive, urging President Chen to initiative a "defensive referendum" to counter the "anti-secession" law.

also see story:

Dislike of China's law widespread: poll