Thu, Nov 04, 2004 - Page 3 News List

DPP denounces `interim agreement' with China


A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker yesterday criticized the nation's top cross-strait policymaking body for its tentative endorsement of an "interim agreement" that would prevent Taiwan from declaring independence and China from using military force.

"Independence does not depend on whether you seek it. Basically, [the interim agreement] is asking us to annul any international recognition that Taiwan currently has -- how can this be allowed? How can you take this proposal into consideration?" DPP Legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水) asked. He called the proposal unacceptable.

Lin was referring to media reports on remarks made by former US National Security Council senior director for Asian affairs Kenneth Lieberthal on Tuesday. Lieberthal had suggested the possibility of a cross-strait interim agreement based on a exchange of vows rejecting formal declarations of independence by Taipei and the use of military force by Beijing. He had stressed that the agreement would have to be forged by Taiwan and China, without outside intervention. Lieberthal first introduced the notion in 1998.

Debate on the matter was sparked at a legislative budgetary session yesterday when Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), in response to inquiries by People First Party (PFP) Legislator Lee Chin-hua (李慶華), affirmed that an interim agreement was a possibility.

Wu said that an interim agreement was one of the possibilities the council could consider and that similar concepts underpinned the "peace and stability framework" that had been introduced by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Wu made a similar statement in a speech delivered on Tuesday.

"The `peace and stability framework' includes the notion of an interim agreement," Wu said.

Wu's remarks raised some eyebrows, with legislators criticizing the "assumption that undeclared independence is not independence."

"When I heard you say you were willing to take the interim agreement into consideration, I was, quite frankly, shocked," Lin told Wu yesterday.

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