Fri, Dec 03, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Advisor Koo calls explanations to the US `shameful'

REFORM EFFORTS Koo Kwang-ming said it was unreasonable for the US to require an explanation for moves to rectify the nation's name or rewrite the ROC Constitution

STAFF WRITER

Taiwan need not explain moves toward reforming its Constitu-tion to Washington as such an act would be "shameful," Senior Presidential Advisor Koo Kwan-min (辜寬敏) said yesterday.

"The Americans would not want their government to make such moves either -- they would feel that it was shameful," Koo said.

He made the remark while speaking at a campaign rally in support of David Huang (黃適卓), a Taiwan Solidarity Union candidate running in the southern Taipei district.

"The Taiwanese people respect the US, but it is unreasonable that the US requires an explanation for moves to rectify the nation's name or to rewrite the Constitution," Koo said.

WASHINGTON EXPRESSES CONCERN

US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said while taking questions during a daily press briefing on Monday that the US "appreciated President Chen's [Shui-bian (陳水扁)] pledge [in his inaugural address in 2000] and his subsequent reaffirmations of it."

Boucher said that Washington took those pledges very ser-iously, "particularly as they apply to this referendum on a new constitution."

Asked by reporters whether recent remarks that Chen made about his designs for constitutional change were a violation of his pledges, Boucher responded, "As far as whether any other ideas or proposals contradict that [the pledge] or not, I think he'll have to explain."

CHEN'S PLEDGES

In his inaugural address in May 2000 Chen pledged not to declare independence, not to change the name of Taiwan's government, not to add the "state to state" model of cross-strait relations to the Constitution and not to change the status quo on independence or unification through referendum.

Chen also promised that he would not seek to do away with the National Reunificaiton Coun-cil or the Guidelines for National Reunification.

"The US should be more understanding of Taiwan's situation and refrain from such meaningless moves," Koo said, calling on the US to be reasonable.

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had expressed similar sentiments to the situation on Wednesday, asking, "Is the US Taiwan's father?"

Lee was among the dignitaries who attended the rally for Huang.

LEE SPEAKS OUT

He took the opportunity to promote the name-rectification cam-paign, declaring that the Repub-lic of China (ROC) could no longer be used as the nation's official title.

"To continue to use `Taiwan, ROC' would be a stupid way to go. The ROC has already been conquered by the People's Republic of China [PRC]. If Taiwan calls itself the ROC, then it is the same as calling itself the PRC," Lee said.

Lee pointed to the Book of Exodus in the Bible to demonstrate his point, saying that the Israelites faced difficulties on their way to Canaan because they had forgotten their common faith.

"If Taiwan does not identify with itself, it will not have the spirit to fight for Taiwan," the former president said.

Lee also reiterated that the next three years were crucial to Taiwan on the diplomatic front.

He explained that the US would probably see shifts in foreign policy within the next three years, and that Taiwan had to take the opportunity to promote its agenda.

Lee said, however, that the most important task now was to secure a pan-green majority in the legislature in the Dec. 11 elections.

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