Sat, Dec 11, 2004 - Page 2 News List

China needs to accept democratic process, MAC says

By Joy Su  /  STAFF REPORTER

China needs to get used to the inner workings of a democratic nation, Taiwan's top cross-strait policymaking body said on the eve of today's election.

"Chinese authorities need to get used to the idea of Taiwanese governance," MAC Vice Chairman Johnnason Liu (劉德勳) said during a press conference yesterday. "They need to know that Taiwan is a democratic nation and as such our leaders are democratically elected. There is no room for them to choose which leader they prefer or express who they like."

Liu also echoed MAC Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), saying that if a pan-green majority is secured in the legislature during today's elections, it would be a move towards securing stability and promoting cross-strait ties.

However, Liu warned that no matter what the results of the election, it is important that China learns to accept the outcome of the democratic process.

"Whoever is elected is democratically elected, and [China] must face it," Liu said. "This should be common practice. You cannot control the outcome or choose whom you prefer."

The election results will be closely watched by cross-strait officials as it is expected that China will clarify its stance on talks regarding charter flights for the Lunar New Year after the election results are in. While Liu refrained from commenting on whether a pan-blue majority or a pan-green majority would be most conducive to expediting negotiations on cross-strait flights, he reiterated the need for China to work with whoever the democratic process put into power.

In addition, with the Lunar New Year gradually drawing near, Liu elaborated on the time needed to take care of the technical details of flights. He refrained however from giving an absolute deadline after which chartered flights would not be a viable option.

"If we model routes and flights on those used the first time cross-strait chartered flights were offered, it would take the least amount of time. If however, we choose to allow carriers from both Taiwan and China to make direct flights both ways, there would be a considerably larger number of concerns to think about. It would take more time," Liu said.

"Of course, we hope to establish flights as soon as possible for the convenience of China-based Taiwanese businesspeople who are eager to book flights to Taiwan at an early date," Liu said.

"Thus far, China's response has come across differently at different times," Liu said, saying that the council would wait for a clarification following the elections.

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