Sun, Mar 13, 2005 - Page 3 News List

`Anti-secession' law troublesome: MAC

BELLIGERENT While Chinese officials called Taiwanese criticism of its proposed law `vicious,' the MAC said the bill was provocative and plans to enact it should be halted

By Joy Su  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH AP

The Mainland Affairs Council countered Beijing's criticism of the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) planned protest against China's proposed "anti-secession" law yesterday, saying that China would have to clean up its own mess.

"He who ties the bell on the tiger must also take it off," a council statement read, indicating that, as the troublemaker, China, should put an end to the trouble the bill has created.

"No matter what means China employs to dilute or cover the law, there is no way to mask the law's ridiculous and deceptive nature," the statement read.

Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office chief Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) slammed attacks by the independence-leaning DPP regarding the "anti-secession" law as "vicious" and "tarnishing," according to the state-run Xinhua news agency yesterday.

Chen made the remark after the DPP said it expected to attract up to 500,000 people to a rally to protest the law, which would make it illegal -- in Beijing's view -- for Taiwan declare independence from China. The rally is to take place on March 26.

"A few separatists seeking Taiwan independence ... distort the anti-secession law mislead and cheat the majority of their Taiwan compatriots, and stir up feelings against the mainland," the Taiwan Affairs Office official said.

"The DPP even said [they would] take further action to sabotage cross-strait relations," Chen added.

Xinhua quoted Chen as saying that Taiwan "again attempted to push cross-strait relations to a dangerous edge, arousing indignation from Chinese at home and abroad."

The law, almost certain to be passed tomorrow by China's rubber-stamp parliament -- the National People's Congress -- gives the Chinese military the legal basis to attack Taiwan if it formally declares independence. At the same time, Beijing insists that "non-peaceful means" will be used only as a last resort.

Council spokesman Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) said on Friday that the demonstration against the "anti-secession" law was an expression of freedom in an open, democratic society.

"China needs to seriously reconsider how the people of Taiwan will react to this law," Chiu said, alluding to the fact that the protest was a result of China's proposed legislation.

"Chen does not take into account the fact that a majority of Taiwanese people are opposed to the law," Chiu said.

"If China chooses to view the Taiwanese people's opposition to violence and love for peace as the destruction of cross-strait ties, China would be making yet another big mistake and would be greatly misjudging the country," the council statement said.

China's first mistake, according to the council, was its "unilateral move to pass the bill."

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