As part of a series of events to commemorate the 228 Incident, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday launched a signature drive to voice the nation's opposition to China's proposed "anti-secession" law, which is scheduled to be reviewed and possibly passed next week.
The party hopes to amass tens of thousands of signatures through the campaign.
The TSU also pledged to organize social movements to demonstrate their anger at the Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) administration's ineffectiveness in pushing policies or bills related to Taiwan's national identity.
Chen met with People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) last Thursday and the two agreed to a 10-point consensus, in which Chen distanced himself from previous pledges to change the nation's name and the Constitution.
Chanting "opposing annexation, protecting Taiwan" and "Taiwan needs a name change, Taiwan needs a new constitution," TSU Chairman Shu Chin-chiang (蘇進強) led three TSU lawmakers in launching the signature campaign outside Longshan Temple MRT station yesterday morning, amid rain and cold temperatures.
Supporters of the TSU's cause can add their signatures to the campaign at over 30 locations set up by the TSU's 19 local chapters nationwide.
A skit was performed to ridicule Chen, Soong and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (
Calling the proposed "anti-secession" law an "invasive legislation designed to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait and sabotage peace in the Asia-Pacific region," Shu encouraged Taiwanese people to voice their opposition to the planned law.
"If we show indifference to protecting our own homeland, who else will help us protect ourselves and maintain safety and happiness for our children?" Shu said.
Although cross-strait security has been addressed in the security pact signed between Japan and the US, Shu said that the nation's sovereignty and territory cannot hinge on one joint statement, nor can we turn a blind eye to the "anti-secession" law.
"If we say nothing to the proposed legislation, I'm afraid in the end Taiwan will become another special region of China and our people will end up using the Chinese passport," he said.
Shu said that although he realizes it is a time-consuming effort to change the nation's name, the Chen administration cannot and should not hamper or thwart other parties or the private sector in pushing the cause.
"We will team up with independent groups and the public to press on with the campaign," he said. "We will start with something smaller such as changing street names, especially those associated with Chinese provinces or cities such as Guangzhou Street, Nanjing Road or Beiping Road."
The TSU is not opposing the government merely because it is an opposition party, Shu said. Rather, it is safeguarding Taiwan's identity.
"What we are doing here is telling the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government that we are against its abandoning the pursuit of national identity related bills," he said. "Only through changing the official name of the nation and rewriting the Constitution can the status quo of `one country on either side of the Taiwan Strait' be maintained."
Shu said that the status quo of "one China" was altered in 1949 when the People's Republic of China was founded. Given that the Chinese government has never governed Taiwan and its offshore islands, Shu said that it does not make sense to say that Taiwan independence is "changing the status quo" or "severing itself from China."