Sat, Aug 03, 2002 - Page 4 News List

MAC wants DPP to air resolution

By Lin Miao-Jung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday the government and the DPP must discuss whether the DPP's 1999 resolution on Taiwan's future (台灣前途決議文), which explicitly asserts that Taiwan is an independent state called the "Republic of China," can become government policy.

"An interim period is required for discussion as to whether the resolution can serve as a guideline for policy making or even practicable policy in its own right," Tsai said.

"The government must discuss the issue with the DPP and follow the president's instructions," she added.

Tsai made the remarks at a meeting with more than 140 legislative assistants at a two-day cross-strait affairs lecture and seminar program, which finished yesterday.

The DPP government's approach to cross-strait affairs is to maintain the status quo by not changing Taiwan's status either by declaring independence or seeking reunification.

Tsai told the Legislative Yuan in the last legislative session, "Our policy is neutral. We never think about independence and we never think about unification. We only think about how to manage relations smoothly."

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) told DPP members on Tuesday that the party's "resolution regarding Taiwan's future" (台灣前途決議文) is its top principle when dealing with cross-strait issues.

The resolution declares that Taiwan is an independent sovereign state whose name is the "Republic of China."

Any changes regarding this independent status, it holds, must be collectively determined by all people in Taiwan through a public referendum.

Tsai's remark followed questions from legislative assistants about her opinion of Chen's statements.

"We have to consider subjective and objective factors as well as the interim and long term strategies of cross-strait affairs when responding to Chen's remarks," she said.

As to whether the National Unification Guidelines (國統綱領) should be abolished, Tsai said, "That is not the issue.

"Because of the change in circumstances [since the guidelines were drawn up], it is impractical to treat the guidelines as inviolable."

The guidelines were proposed by the KMT government in 1991 as a blueprint for Taiwan's reunification with China.

In related news, during a separate weekly news briefing, MAC Vice Chairman Jonathan Liu (劉德勳) said that it was inappropriate for China to refer to Taiwan as "Chung-kuo Taipei" (中國台北, China, Taipei), as it had done in a formal notification to Taiwan's delegation to the WTO in Geneva on Tuesday.

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation announced on Thursday that it will initiate an anti-dumping investigation on phenol exported from Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and the US to China.

Prior to the move, China notified the delegations of the four countries on Tuesday, in accordance with WTO rules .

This is the third time that China has initiated an anti-dumping investigation regarding Taiwan, but the first time that it has contacted the country under the WTO framework.

But the notification referred to "Chung-kuo Taipei (中國台北)" instead of the name under which Taiwan is formally registered in the organization -- The Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu (台澎金馬個別關稅領域).

In response to China's move, Liu said that it was "quite appropriate" for China to contact Taiwan via the WTO framework since the two sides are members of the organization.

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