Mon, Dec 05, 2005 - Page 2 News List

No China policy changes: MAC

BUSINESS AS USUAL Council Vice Chairman You Ying-lung said Saturday's elections were not a referendum on the government's China strategies but simply local polls

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

A top Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official said yesterday that there will be no major change in cross-strait policies, clarifying President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) pre-election comments that policies would have to be tightened in the event of Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) victory.

Council Vice Chairman You Ying-lung (游盈隆) made the remarks during a forum while responding to opposition politicians' interpretation that the elections showed that most people want the government to review its cross-strait policies.

"The municipal elections were not a referendum on cross-strait policies but just local elections. These two things should be clearly separated, not lumped together," the council official said.

You said the government will continue to pursue negotiations with China on improving cross-strait exchanges such as passengers and cargo charter flights and the opening of Taiwan to tourists from China.

Before the election Chen said that as a KMT victory would spur passage of the "cross-strait peace advancement bill" -- a bill to legalize the "one China" principle -- he would have to tighten cross-strait policies to defend Taiwan's sovereignty.

"The government will not take the initiative to tighten cross-strait policies unless the Chinese government makes a move which is against the interests of the Taiwanese people," You said.

"What the president meant was that China should not enact another `Anti-Secession' Law as it did following the opposition's victory in last year's legislative election," he said.

The passage of China's Anti-Secession Law, which authorizes Beijing authorities to use force to stop any attempt by Taiwan to formally secede from China, prompted the government to slow down reviewing the restrictions on cross-strait exchanges.

Several politicians at the forum, however, said that the government should review its cross-strait policies after the election.

Lee Shang-ren (李先仁), director of the Taiwan Solidarity Union's policy center, suggested the government launch political negotiations with China to highlight Taiwan's sovereignty.

"The current issues the government is focused on, mainly economic and social exchanges, are not enough. As the country's sovereignty might be weakened with the broadening of the scope of cross-strait exchanges, political issues should be dealt with at the same time," Lee said.

"The government also needs to make efforts to seek a consensus with opposition parties about the political issues. Despite the difficulty, the most important thing is for all parties to reach a common position on the country's sovereignty," he said.

Cheng An-kuo (鄭安國), now a senior staffer of KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jiou (馬英九), echoed Lee's suggestion.

"The KMT's victory showed that most people have lost their interest in and belief in the DPP's old campaign strategy -- to libel the opposition as China's fellow travelers," Cheng said.

The KMT staffer suggested that the government should listen to the people and reach a compromise with the opposition to seriously review outdated cross-strait policies.

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