Sat, Feb 04, 2006 - Page 3 News List

DPP legislators back Chen's proposals

CNA , TAIPEI

President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) proposal to scrap the National Unification Guidelines and the National Unification Council (NUC) are issues that should be studied, the legislative caucus of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday, adding that it will give its full support to the plan.

Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻), a DPP caucus whip in the legislature, noted that the president said in his speech that he will reinforce Taiwan's sovereignty and that the Taiwanese people should be the ones to decide the nation's future.

Agreeing with the president's remarks, the legislator said that the pro-unification opposition parties did not have the right to decide the nation's future. But Chen Chin-jun added that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who has criticized the president's proposal as rash, should not "panic," because the president's words were only meant to highlight Taiwan's sovereign status.

Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津), another DPP whip, said that Taiwan is already a sovereign independent country and has maintained the status quo, and that the NUC, which was established more than a decade ago by the KMT government, exists in name only.

President Chen said at a Lunar New Year gathering with his supporters in Tainan on Sunday that he might seriously consider scrapping the NUC and the National Unification Guidelines to "highlight Taiwan's unique national identity," despite pledging in his inaugural speeches in 2000 and 2004 that abolishing the council and guidelines would "not be an issue," as long as China had no intention of using force against Taiwan.

In his recent remarks, Chen also proposed applying for UN membership under the name "Taiwan" and drafting a new constitution by the end of this year to be put to a referendum next year.

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