Wed, Oct 26, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Chen: Retrocession Day about self-rule

TAIWAN'S DAY The president talked about confusion surrounding the day and blasted China for its latest 'tricks' in its campaign for unification

By Chiu Yu-tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The invitations issued to opposition party leaders and retired generals to attend China's "Taiwan Retrocession Day" were the latest part of China's "united front" strategy and a blatant attempt to swallow up Taiwan, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday.

The president made the remarks while receiving foreign guests who are participating in talks hosted by the Taiwan Thinktank on US-Japan-Taiwan relations.

Chen told his guests that the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) attempt to equate the "retrocession" of Taiwan after World War II with its return to China was nonsensical.

"It was political dogma rather than historical truth," Chen said.

Retrocession Day marks Oct. 25, 1945, the day Japan ended its rule over Taiwan.

Chen stressed that the Taiwanese had passively accepted two crucial events in the last hundred or so years: cession to Japan in 1895 and "retrocession" in 1945.

"The real meaning of `retrocession' is Taiwanese having the freedom to rule their own country," he said.

The motive for China's high-profile celebrations of the day this year deserved scrutiny because Beijing had not commemorated it ever before, he said.

"Sadly, today in Taiwan, many people are misusing the concept of Taiwan's retrocession to wrongly promote cross-strait peace. The proposed cross-strait peace advancement bill [兩岸和平促進法] would eventually result in Taiwan surrendering to China," Chen said.

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