Tue, Mar 01, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Remember 228: Envoy to the US calls on China to give up law

OVERSEAS CEREMONIES The nation's representative in Washington highlighted the danger posed by China's proposed `anti-secession' law at a 228 memorial event


Taiwan's representative to the US on Sunday urged China to take the initiative and give up its plan to enact an "anti-secession" law so as not to increase cross-strait tensions.

David Lee (李大維) made the remarks during a commemoration ceremony for the 228 Incident held in Washington, which was sponsored by Taiwan civic groups and the Presbyterian Church. Around 300 Taiwanese expatriates attended the event.

The "anti-secession" bill will soon be reviewed and is expected to be passed by the National People's Congress, Beijing's rubber-stamp parliament, when it meets next week.

Lee said that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) had repeatedly extended olive branches to China, urging Beijing to resume talks for the sake of peaceful coexistence of both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

But Beijing has ignored the aspirations for world peace of the 23 million people of Taiwan and the international community, and is planning to enact the "anti-secession" law, which could be used as a legal basis for action against Taiwan, Lee said.

He noted that there is no precedent of formulating such a law in the world, and Beijing's purpose was to unilaterally define the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, deny the de jure existence of the Republic of China and provide a legal basis for the use of force against Taiwan should it declare independence.

Lee said that the "anti-secession" law is dictatorial, and a law to authorize war.

He urged the international community to use its influence to prevent Beijing from making any moves to sabotage regional peace and stability and address China's attempt to use force against Taiwan.

He said that the "anti-secession law" has no substantive benefits and will not be well-received by the people of Taiwan. It would destroy the ability of both sides to have further exchanges and resume bilateral talks, he added.

Events around the world

* In the US, events to commemorate the 228 Incident were held in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, Austin, Dallas, New York, Houston and Kansas

* Commemorative events were also held in Canada, the UK, Germany and Japan

* In Los Angeles, over 300 Taiwanese gathered to light candles and sing songs in remembrance of the 228 Incident, as well as to protest China's "anti-secession" law

* In London, Taiwanese groups gathered in front of parliament and protested China's "anti-secession" law

Overseas Taiwanese organized 19 events at 16 different locations to remember the 228 Incident and protest China's planned law over the weekend.

At 8pm yesterday, they were connected by telephone with the memorial rallies for the 228 Incident in Taiwan, and proclaimed their determination to defend Taiwan's freedom.

In the US, events were held in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, Austin, Dallas, New York, Houston and Kansas. In Canada, Britain, Germany and Japan, there were memorial services and parades to commemorate one of the bloodiest eras in the history of Taiwan.

More than 300 Taiwanese gathered on the square in front of the Taiwan Center in Los Angeles on Sunday night to sing Taiwanese folk songs amid chilly temperatures.

They lit candles and unveiled a huge signboard on the wall of the center.

"More than 700 Chinese missiles not only target Taiwan but all of East Asia," it read.

The memorial service lasted two hours.

In London, Taiwanese groups gathered on the square in front of [arliament and held signs protesting China's "anti-secession" law.

"The law will change the lives of the people in Taiwan," one of the signs read.

"Taiwan is not part of China," read another sign.

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