Sun, Mar 13, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Ma invites local leaders to jointly oppose China

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) will hold a press conference tomorrow to express local leaders' united opposition to China's "anti-secession" law to the global community, on the same day that the law is due to be passed in Beijing.

Ma said yesterday that he is inviting all 23 of the nation's regional heads of government to participate, regardless of party affiliation. Ma added that he may not attend the March 26 protest against the anti-secession law being organized by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

"I think it is important to hold an international press conference to express our views," Ma said yesterday while at an event celebrating yesterday's Arbor Day in Taipei. "This is the kind of response that we regional governments should have, to represent the public will of the people at the fundamental level."

The Taipei City Government sent out invitations to the heads of the nation's county, provincial municipality and special municipality governments on Friday, Ma said. He added that the Taipei City Government will soon publicize the text of a document it is asking the county and city heads to sign in an expression of their united opposition to China's anti-secession law.

When asked by reporters if he would consider attending the nation-wide protest organized by the DPP against China's proposed law on March 26, Ma said that since he has already expressed his personal views on the anti-secession law, there is no need for him attend all events regarding it. As a result, Ma said, he did not sign a similar joint resolution initiated March 7 by acting Kaoshiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), and he may not attend the DPP-organized rally.

Chen yesterday criticized Ma for not signing the March 7 resolution and not supporting the March 26 rally.

"First, on Monday, we sent the resolution to Ma in the hope that he would sign, and he didn't," Chen said. "Second, he has also said that he believes the March 26 parade to be an inflammatory action.

Chen said in light of Ma's action, "regardless of whether you are blue or green," it's only natural for some to be unwilling to attend Ma's press conference, especially since it's held by someone who "does not dare join a march all the people care about."

He said that he may not attend tomorrow's event for that reason.

The press conference is slated to be held tomorrow afternoon at Taipei City Hall.

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