Tue, Dec 21, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet monitoring secession law

`WAIT AND SEE' ATTITUDE The premier yesterday said that Taipei will be closely following developments in China's proposed law, but that details were still sketchy

CNA AND AP , Taipei

Premier Yu Shyi-kun said yesterday the government will closely monitor developments in China's plan to enact an anti-secession law.

Yu made the remarks at a breakfast meeting with a group of senior business executives. Many Cabinet ministers were also present at the meeting.

Yu said that as senior Chinese leaders have yet to disclose details of the so-called anti-secession law, which is widely viewed as mainly targeting at Taiwan, the government will adopt a wait-and-see attitude.

"It would be premature for us to announce response measures at this time. We'll instead keep a close watch of the developments," Yu said.

Beijing's official Xinhua News Agency created a stir here last Friday by reporting that the National People's Congress (NPC) would screen an anti-secession law at a meeting of the NPC Standing Committee that starts Saturday and that the bill could be passed at the congress' annual plenary session in March.

There had been widespread speculation that Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) might disclose details about the anti-secession legislation in his speech yesterday in Macau marking the fifth anniversary of the former colony's return to Chinese rule, but he didn't.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Spokesman Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) told reporters yesterday that Taiwan will not accept China's "one country, two systems" model when Beijing has failed to give Hong Kong and Macau high degrees of autonomy under the system.

"We've noticed that the extent of democracy, freedom, human rights and law have kept rolling backward" in both Hong Kong and Macau since they returned to Chinese rule, Chen said.

He said Hong Kong's jobless rate has climbed while per capita income has dropped since 1997, indicating people's lack of confidence in Chinese rule.

"It has proved that the `one country, two systems' formula has failed to pass the test, and it can never be applicable to Taiwan in the future," he said.

In related news, Huang Mao-hsiung (黃茂雄), president of the Taipei-based Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce, said the business community has continued its "business as usual" attitude and will go ahead with its plans despite China's proposed legislation.

"We have heard about China's new legislative plan, but the details and spirit of the legislation remain unclear. We need an in-depth review before we can make any comments," Huang said.

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