Sat, May 24, 2003 - Page 4 News List

MAC says China hinders relations with Taiwanese

By Sandy Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday that China's recent moves to obstruct Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization (WHO) and Miss Universe contest had soured the feelings of Taiwanese toward China and hindered the development of cross-strait relations.

"China's recent biased public discourse and unjustifiable intervention in international venues has seriously hurt the feelings of people in Taiwan," council Vice Chairman Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said yesterday at the council's weekly press conference.

"China's obstructionist moves will definitely have a negative impact on cross-strait relations," he said.

Chen made the remarks in response to a question about China's push to block the participation of Taiwan's representative in the Miss Universe contest, which is slated for June 3.

Due to Beijing's machinations, Chen Szu-yu (陳思羽), Taiwan's representative in the contest, was ordered to wear a name sash in the contest's first formal stage activity on May 17 in Panama City reading "Miss Chinese Taipei." She had originally registered in the event as "Miss Taiwan."

In addition to the forced name change, Taiwan was rejected for a seventh time on Monday in its bid to gain observer status at the World Health Assembly, thanks to an unprecedented effort by China's Vice Premier and Minister of Health Wu Yi (吳儀) to mobilize Beijing's allies against Taipei.

While stressing that the nation's policy of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is unchanged, Chen Ming-tong said trust and cooperation are essential to maintaining healthy relations.

"It is really hard for us to expect a progressive and constructive cross-strait relationship to develop in the near future if China continues to neglect the desires of Taiwan's people," he said.

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