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Wed, Jan 19, 2000 - Page 3 News List

KMT denies `scare' allegations

FIRST STRIKE Chen Shui-bian's accusation that the KMT is using scare tactics in its campaign has been dismissed as a move to cover weaknesses in his own platform

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

DPP presidential candidate Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) claimed yesterday the KMT is preparing to use the so-called "stability card" against his bid for office to incite fears that a DPP victory would touch off a military response from China.

The claims, however, were dismissed by KMT officials who said Chen merely wants to confuse voters while pursuing his party's potentially-destabilizing pro-independence platform.

Chen said he had received information from officials in the US to the effect that the KMT is gearing up to level allegations against him and that they will bring up the issue of cross-strait stability as a way of frightening voters into voting for them.

"The KMT normally uses scare tactics in the final stages of election campaigns to support its candidates. I have information from US government sources that the party plans to use these tactics again," Chen said.

Chen had originally planned to hold a press conference yesterday to publicize a white paper on science and technology, but that in light of what he said were imminent attacks on him by the ruling party, he could not stay silent.

Chiou Yi-jen (邱義仁), Chen's executive campaign manager, said yesterday that Chen is not alone in expressing such worries.

"The US media, Congress and scholars have all revealed fears that president Lee will create an incident to draw the US into Taiwan's presidential election," Chiu said.

Just two days ago, Congressmen visiting Taiwan personally requested Lee not use inflammatory rhetoric against China or say anything to escalate tensions in the Strait in the lead-up to the March election.

Chen said yesterday that he would use his own "peaceful stability" card -- by seeking friendship with China through peaceful negotiations with the PRC government -- against what he called the KMT's "terror stability" card.

At the same time, he stressed that the KMT is attempting to intimidate potential DPP voters by conjuring up fears of a backlash from China if he wins.

But the KMT's Chen Shei-saint (陳學聖) said these accusations were without any substance.

"The KMT would never fool with the lives of Taiwan's 21 million people. The party wants to maintain a stable national security environment," the KMT's Chen said.

But the problematic thing is the fact that the DPP's advocacy of Taiwan independence is a volatile factor that could provoke China, he said.

He said Chen Shui-bian knows this fact will decrease his support rate and that his accusations are part of a "first strike" being waged against the KMT.

"Chen says he wants to present a `New Middle Way,' but sometimes he still holds up the banner of pro-independence groups and he knows people will question his honesty regarding just how `stable' Taiwan would be under his government," Chen said.

"Besides," said the KMT's Chen, "we have very good relations with US government and have good channels of communication with them. We can prove that what Chen said is not true."

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