Thu, Jan 20, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Kau seeks support against China's law

ANTI-SECESSION DRIVE The vice foreign minister is traveling around Europe to explain Taiwan's opposition to Beijing's proposed law and its support for an EU ban

By Melody Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

A number of European countries have expressed understanding of Taiwan's stance against China's planned anti-secession law, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Michel Kau (高英茂) told reporters in Berlin on Tuesday.

Kau is currently leading a delegation to explain to several European countries why Taiwan opposes the proposed law.

"We hope the international com-munity can pressure China to step back from making the law. This is the goal we want to achieve by explaining to European countries why we are against the proposed law," Kau said.

Apart from Kau's group, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also deployed delegations to the US and Japan to lobby for support against China's plan.

Lo Fu-chen (羅福全), president of the ministry's Association of East Asian Relations and a former representative to Tokyo, is heading the delegation to Japan.

MAC Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) is leading the delegation to the US. He is is scheduled to meet with US officials and academics to discuss the proposed law and other issues in Washington.

Kau, who has visited Finland, Norway, the Czech Republic and Germany on this trip, said most European government officials and academics he has talked to only heard of the anti-secession law from media reports.

"They do not have sufficient understanding of the law. However, the EU has consistently expressed the hope of seeing China and Tai-wan get along peacefully. They do not want both sides to resort to the use of force or bilaterally change the status quo," Kau said.

Kau, whose another task in Europe is to persuade the EU to retain its arms ban on China, said some Scandinavian and East European countries strongly disapprove of Beijing's lackluster human rights record and refusal to give up the threat to use force against Taiwan.

"These countries oppose removal of the arms ban. Meanwhile, although leaders in France and Germany have demanded the ban be lifted for the sake of economic benefits, they cannot reach consensus on this issue within their own countries," he said.

Some German think tanks, Kau said, disagree with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's unrelenting push for removal of the arms ban and have criticized him for not consulting with his foreign ministry on the matter.

"The removal of the arms ban and the launch of the anti-secession law would definitely have a negative impact on the peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. We hope the EU can give serious thoughts on the consequences," Kau said.

He said Taiwan is not playing a zero-sum game with China.

"We welcome European countries building relationships with China, but firmly oppose China's strategy of getting big nations to oppress Taiwan," he said.

Kau said based on their professional and moral judgment, most EU countries support Taiwan's entrance to the World Health Organization (WHO). He is also trying to solicit support for Taiwan's ninth bid to participate in the WHO's annual meeting in Geneva in May.

"But these countries face great political pressure from China. The US and Japan have lent their support for Taiwan's participation in the WHO despite Beijing's pressure. We hope the EU can follow in the US and Japan's footsteps," he said.

Kau's delegation is due to travel to Luxemburg, France and Belgium in the coming days.

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