Wed, May 28, 2003 - Page 3 News List

TSU presses for referendum law on nation's name

CNA , TAIPEI

TSU Chairman Huang Chu-wen (黃主文) called yesterday for a referendum law and unity among the people of Taiwan to fight against "Beijing's plot" to downgrade Taiwan's status to that of a province of China.

In the face of Beijing's relentless offensive to block Taiwan's presence in international organizations, Huang said the people of Taiwan should unite and push for the passage of a referendum bill that would allow people to vote on the designation of the country's flag and official name.

"Only the enactment of a referendum law empowering the people to vote on sovereignty issues such as the country's official designation and its flag can provide Taiwan with a weapon to fight against China's suppression," he said, adding that one of the TSU's goals is to promote a referendum law and forge a national consensus on Taiwan's sovereignty, which he said would "get rid of Beijing's hegemony."

"Beijing's repeated attempts to block Taiwan from the World Heath Assembly and the World Health Organization are aimed at stripping Taiwan of its sovereignty," he said, adding that "the Constitution stipulates clearly that the people have the power to decide the country's development course and policy."

"Excluding the national flag and title issues from a referendum law would be tantamount to giving up our sovereignty and catering to Beijing's conspiracy, " he said, adding that the TSU has been pushing for a quick passage of the bill to secure Taiwan's future.

In the latest of a string of moves against Taiwan in the international community, Foreign Affairs Minister Eugene Chien (簡又新) acknowledged on Monday that the WTO Secretariat, under pressure from Beijing, has asked Taiwan's delegation based at the WTO to change its official title from the "Permanent Mission of Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu" to that of an economic and trade office -- on the same level as Hong Kong's delegation.

All major political parties in Taiwan have responded swiftly to the development, issuing statements to condemn Beijing's demands.

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