Thu, Dec 30, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Pundits say domestic solidarity a priority

LEAVE WELL ALONE Political observers yesterday urged Taiwanese politicians to ignore Beijing's move on the anti-secession bill and concentrate on local stability

By Joy Su  /  STAFF REPORTER

As Beijing decided yesterday to hand a draft of the anti-secession bill to its highest legislative organ for deliberation in March, prominent political observers in Taiwan urged the nation to put bipartisan bickering aside and make domestic solidarity a priority.

China's official Xinhua news agency reported yesterday that the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress [NPC] "decided ? to submit the draft law against secession to the third session of the 10th National People's Congress [in March]." According to the report, the decision had been made unanimously yesterday.

While the Beijing authorities have yet to reveal the full text of the bill, committee chairman Wu Bangguo (吳邦國) said at the close of the NPC Standing Committee's five-day session that "the draft law, based on the Constitution and the major policies on Taiwan such as `peaceful reunification' and `one country, two systems,' is centered around the theme of fighting and curbing the secessionist activities of the `Taiwan independence' for-ces and to promote the peaceful reunification of the motherland," the report said.

While China had made efforts to develop cross-strait ties peacefully, "Taiwan authorities have accelerated secessionist activities for `Taiwan Independence,' especially through the so-called `constitutional reform,'" the report said.

"[I]t must be made clear that to maintain national sovereignty and territorial integrity is the core interests of our nation and the common obligation of all Chinese people, including our Taiwan compatriots [sic]," he was quoted as saying.

Wu said that "the anti-secession law was drafted after opinions and ideas were solicited from all circles," according to the report.

Despite the attention accorded the bill yesterday, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said that Wu's remarks were not unexpected.

"This is basically the same as what they [Chinese authorities] say in their work reports ? peaceful unification, etc. They're just connecting those ideas with the bill this time," council vice chairman Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) said yesterday.

He said that it was difficult to understand the motivation behind the law.

"In terms of ties with the US, China has the upper hand. In Taiwan, the pan-blues maintained the majority in the Legislative Yuan. It seems unlikely that there will be any political changes domestically," Chiu said.

He said that the proposed law put everyone at risk.

"When you tie people to geography in the law, you put all at risk. Is it a violation of the law if I say that I support Taiwanese independence in Taiwan?" Chiu said.

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