Tue, Mar 22, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Su hopes rally will sway China to revoke new law

CRITICISM The DPP chairman yesterday said Beijing's recently passed `Anti-Secession' Law was like `slicing someone's head with an axe, then giving him a lollipop'

REUTERS , TAIPEI

The head of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said he hoped a planned show of people power will convince China to scrap its new "Anti-Secession" Law, or Taipei may be forced to take more provocative action.

DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said in an interview yesterday he hoped the sight of a million people the party planned to bring to Taipei's streets on Saturday will sway Beijing into abolishing the law, which codifies China's longstanding policy to use force if necessary to prevent Taiwan independence.

Su said the legislation was a threat to world peace and fuelled independence sentiment in Taiwan, negating other gestures from China like the offer of economic incentives to aid Beijing's goal of peaceful unification.

"It's like slicing someone's head with an axe, then giving him a lollipop and hoping that can solve the problem," Su said in his first media interview since taking office in January.

"We hope the whole world can see that in the Taiwan Strait, it is China that is using its power to cause trouble," he said.

"We hope that while there is still time, the international community can make this law cease to exist," said Su, who is seen as one of the front-runners for the 2008 presidential race.

Su's appeal came as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met Chinese leaders in Beijing.

Pro-independence politicians in Taiwan have criticized President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) for being weak. They are calling for countermeasures like a referendum, retaliatory legislation or a new constitution to assert the nation's sovereignty.

"The ruling party's stance is that we hope to resolve the problem with the most peaceful and self-restrained measures. We do not hope to raise the stakes to direct confrontation and opposition," Su said.

"But if we are forced to the point where we have no choice, then things may become more antagonistic and intense. But that is something we do not wish to see," he said.

Su said the DPP did not want to provoke China, sticking to the relatively conciliatory tone set by Chen since last December's legislative elections.

Although the DPP's charter sets Taiwan independence from China as its final goal, Su did not rule out unification as a possible outcome.

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