Sun, Feb 13, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Think tank urges opposition to anti-secession law


Taiwan's people must speak out to let the international community know that they are opposed to China's proposed anti-secession law, an official of a Taiwan think tank said on Friday.

Lai Yi-chung (賴怡忠), director of the Department of International Affairs of Taiwan Thinktank (台灣智庫), made the remarks in a speech on the threat posed by China at an overseas Chinese cultural and educational center in New York.

`status quo'

The Taiwanese people need to make clear that they will never accept Beijing's approach of "defining the status quo and changing the status quo" in the Taiwan Strait.

He noted that the tone of the so-called anti-secession law is based on "Taiwan is an inalienable part of China," which he said is a concept defined by Beijing.

Using the anti-secession law to define the status quo will show that Beijing is now tilting toward adopting a harsher policy toward Taiwan, Lai said.

Beijing is on the one hand trying to squeeze democracy in Taiwan and Hong Kong, while on the other hand using the enactment of the law to try to mitigate political responsibility in making decisions on Taiwan, Lai said.

Lai cited reports that a court may be set up under the law to prosecute those who support independence for Taiwan, or even Tibetan and Xinjiang.

For this reason, the proposed law is an "anti-freedom" law that will not only squeeze the freedom that comes with China's economic development, but will also affect human rights and democracy in Taiwan.

law's content unclear

As the law's content has not yet been made clear, the international community will have to wait until the proposed law is reviewed and approved by China's rubber-stamp National People's Congress in March, Lai said.

The urgent task for the Taiwan people is to let the international community know that the anti-secession law has no market in Taiwan and that they will not accept the way that Beijing is trying to unilaterally define the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, he added.

Lei also cited a survey conducted by Taiwan Thinktank late last year on Taiwanese people's perception of the anti-secession law.

The survey showed that more than 60 percent of those polled believe the enactment of the proposed law will increase tension in the Taiwan Strait.

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