Sat, Mar 20, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

STAFF WRITER

■ Cross-Strait Ties

PLA issues warning

The mouthpiece of the China's People's Liberation Army yesterday warned Taiwan against holding today's referendum, but stopped short of spelling out the consequences. The Liberation Army Daily said Pakistan, Brazil and the Czech Republic had issued statements this week warning against the referendum on boosting Taiwan's missile defenses. Overseas Chinese groups also opposed using the referendum to push for independence, the daily said. The People's Daily, the mouthpiece of China's Communist Party, and the official English-language China Daily did not mention the election or the referendum.

■ Politics

Shen gets emotional

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Shen Fu-hsiung (沈富雄) appeared to lose control yesterday in the legislature while he was talking with other DPP lawmakers about his going into hiding earlier this week. He denounced Secretary General of the Presidential Office Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) and DPP campaign spokesperson Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁) for pres-suring him in the past few days, and he cursed. He said that he had obediently followed instructions from top party officials in the past few days, and that Chiou and Wu had sup-ported his going into hiding. He also said that the points he made in his public state-ments on Thursday were good ones, but that Chiou and Wu had asked him not to deliver the points publicly. He then said Huang Fang-yen (黃芳彥), the party's campaign finance liaison, had told him to go overseas. Shen finished by shouting vulgarities.

■ Diplomacy

Japan urged to help Taiwan

Japan should give deeper thought to its relations with China and should make Taiwan an important strategic partner, a Japanese sociologist has said. Mineo Nakajima, former president of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, was quoted by the Sankei Shimbun daily yesterday as saying that although China has continued to adhere to its "one China" policy, it has not ruled Taiwan for a single day. Nakajima, a well-known political commen-tator, said during a speech on Thursday that Japan and Taiwan are virtually "one body of esprit de corps" and that if Taiwan were annexed by China, it would definitely result in major damage to Japan's interests. Saying that China is not a "trust-worthy" opponent, he said Beijing's increase of its defense budget by 11 percent is worrisome. He called for the government and private sector not to be fooled by China's "false impression of success."

■ Referendum

Doctor urges people to vote

Chang Shang-chwen (張上淳), dean of National Taiwan University Hos-pital's infectious diseases department, issued an

e-mail yesterday urging people to take part in the referendum. Chang became well-known during last year's SARS epidemic. He expressed concern in the e-mail for the nation's future if the referendum were to fail. If not enough people vote, he said, the international community will get the impression that voters are indifferent to China's military threat and don't care about national defense. "China will certainly make this claim. It will be even harder for Taiwan to make its way internationally, and we will be under even greater pressure and subjugation from China," the e-mail stated.

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