Sun, Feb 19, 2006 - Page 3 News List

PFP to keep pushing its `peace bill' to counter Chen

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The People First Party (PFP) will renew its push for a "cross-strait peace advancement bill" to counter President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) intention to scrap the National Unification Council and unification guidelines, the party's caucus whip said yesterday.

Under the PFP's proposal, a "peace advancement" committee would be set up under the Legislative Yuan to direct the government's cross-strait policies.

"We need the committee to keep Chen's personal domination over cross-strait policies in check," PFP caucus whip Hwang Yih-jiau (黃義交) said.

The unification guidelines were adopted by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government in the early 1990s as its long-term blueprint for eventual unification with China, and the council was established to carry them out.

The current government under Chen has said that the guidelines violate the principle that the people should decide Taiwan's destiny, and should therefore be scrapped. The government has also slammed the PFP's proposed `peace bill,' which would write the "one China" principle into the nation's law, as a "by-law" of China's "Anti-Secession" Law.

With Chen appearing increasingly likely to ditch the council by the end of the month, the pro-unification pan-blue camp has continued to voice its opposition.

"The public's safety depends on stable cross-strait relations, which shouldn't be dominated by the president, who only cares about his party's interests," Hwang said.

In the wake of Chen's plan to abolish the council and guidelines, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) recently floated the idea that its new draft constitution for the nation would consider changes to the national flag, title, and territory.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus whip Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) said that the president should not risk people's lives and property just for the sake of boosting his low approval ratings since last December's local elections.

PFP Legislator Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀), who doubles as director of the PFP's policy department, said that the DPP's measures to move toward immediate independence will force the US to side with China against Taiwan.

"The government should not draft a controversial constitution when US-Taiwan relations are so tense. The PFP will block such actions with all its strength, as they are no different from suicide by charcoal-burning," Chang said.

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