Fri, Apr 29, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Chen rejects `one country, two systems'

CROSS-STRAIT CONSTRAINT The president said that until Beijing allows democratic elections and freedom of speech and religion, there is little chance of improved ties

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) lashed out at China's "one country, two systems" formula yesterday, saying that Hong Kong and Macau's economic and social failures in the wake of their return to China proved the formula is a fraud.

Calling Hong Kong and Macau a "warning to Taiwan's 23 million people," Chen said. "It is impossible for the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to conform politically as long as China does not have real democratic elections, nationalizes its army and lacks freedom of speech and religion."

The "one country, two systems" formula was supposed to guarantee Hong Kong and Macau would retain their capitalist, free-market system after their return to China's sovereignty.

"Experience has clearly proven the so-called `one country, two systems' that was initially designed for the return of Hong Kong are empty words, false words," Chen said. "The `two systems' is fake, the `one country' is true."

Chen's comments to a group of visiting Taiwanese businesspeople based in Hong Kong and Macau came one day after he called on the Beijing authorities to "address the fact that the Republic of China exists."

"The situation faced by Hong Kong and Macau is not how many promises and guarantees China can give but whether or not China can implement democracy and law and order," Chen said.

Citing China's refusal to allow Hong Kong voters to directly elect their leader in 2007 and their full legislature in 2008, Chen criticized Beijing's attempts to intervene in the territory's politics.

"China's one party, dictatorial system works not only like a bird cage that confines the peoples of Hong Kong and Macau freedom and democratic aspirations, but as a manacle that severely slows Hong Kong and Macau's footsteps toward progress and development," he said.

Chen told his visitors that the people of Taiwan hope for peace, normalization of cross-strait relations and for the people of Hong Kong and Macau to enjoy real freedom and democracy.

"But developments are heading in just the opposite direction," he said.

"The Chinese government has tried to use the `one country, two systems' formula to tackle cross-strait issues," he said. "But the biggest contradiction between two sides of the Strait lies not in their separate governments but in the choice of a democratic system and life styles."

He said the "Anti-Secession" Law enacted by Beijing can't prevent independence sentiments and will only widen the rift between the two sides.

He called on China's leaders to follow the global trend of embracing the universal values of democracy, human rights and peace. He said they should speed up political reforms to make China a democracy and "write a new page of progress and prosperity in history for the Chinese people in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau."

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