The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday called on China to review its “Anti-Secession” Law targeting Taiwan, which the council described as “something unnecessary” in cross-strait relations.
The law is impeding the development of ties between Taipei and Beijing, MAC Deputy Minister Liu Te-shun (劉德勳) said.
“With the two sides having built a communication platform and accumulated more mutual trust, there is a need to review the law,” Liu told a press conference.
He made the remarks in response to a press query as to whether MAC Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) was referring to China’s “Anti-Secession” Law when on Wednesday she urged Beijing to abolish policies and laws concerning military deployments targeting Taiwan.
Beijing enacted the “Anti-Secession” Law on March 14, 2005, authorizing the Chinese military to take Taiwan via “non-peaceful” means if Taiwan made moves toward de jure independence.
While giving a speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington on Wednesday, Lai said Beijing has been pushing for military and political negotiations after the two sides signed the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in June.
The timing and conditions, however, were not ripe for such talks, she said.
“One side cannot coerce the other to cooperate simply because it unilaterally decides the matter is urgent,” she said.
Lai said China’s military buildup and its “policy of taking Taiwan by force” were “obstacles” that must be removed if cross-strait relations were to move forward.
She emphasized that the steadfast support of the US for the development of cross-strait ties served as a robust boost to Taiwan’s efforts to improve cross-strait relations.
She also urged Washington to continue providing the necessary weapons to Taiwan according to the Taiwan Relations Act.
Regarding signing free-trade agreements (FTAs) with other countries, Lai said that many countries and trading partners have recently expressed “strong interest” in signing FTAs after Taipei and Beijing inked the ECFA.
Lai said that Taiwan’s democracy and economic power played an essential role in cross-strait negotiations and regional harmony.
The “Taiwan experience” and Taiwan’s soft power were vital bargaining chips when negotiating with China and key factors driving China’s economic and social transformation, she said. She urged the international community, especially the US, to value Taiwan’s influence in this regard and strengthen substantive relations and bilateral dialogue on the development of cross-strait ties and regional security.
Lai is scheduled to return to Taiwan on Sunday.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA