Mon, Dec 20, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Anti-secession bill may set off chain reaction: academic

CNA , Washington

Beijing's anti-secession bill, although still in the pipeline, may trigger counter-moves in Taiwan, including a memorandum for independence, a China expert with a Washington-based think tank said Saturday.

Alan Romberg, senior associate and director of the East Asia Program of the Henry L. Stimson Center, noted that the anti-secession bill will cause more fallout than consolidation for China.

The most crucial issue at present is that leaderships in both Taiwan and China refrain from making the opposite side feel that achieving the goal is hopeless, Romberg said during a seminar sponsored by the US-China Policy Foundation.

If Beijing adopts the anti-secession bill, it is highly probable that Taiwan will adopt a series of counter-measures that would be hard to be opposed even by the pan-blue opposition parties, Romberg said.

Romberg said that Beijing did not show pleasure with the defeat of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the Dec. 11 legislative elections as widely expected. Instead, it mounted new wave of verbal attacks on Chen and reiterated its belief that Chen will push for Taiwan's independence even harder than before.

Romberg said that he thought otherwise and that Beijing should have taken the opposite approach.

Noting that hopes still exist for the Taiwan Strait, Romberg said that Beijing should adopt "active and positive" approaches toward Taiwan to avoid driving the it farther away.

Quoting a Confucian proverb, Romberg said, "improve the nation's humanity and virtue if people far away defy."

Romberg said that Beijing should try its best to understand the cross-strait situation as well as what the Taiwanese people are thinking.

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