President Chen Shui-bian's (
The motion was proposed by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and backed by a caucus of independent legislators. People First Party (PFP) caucus whip Lu Hsueh-Chang (
The censure motion said that Chen's intention to abolish the unification council will unilaterally change the cross-strait status quo and expedite the advancement of de jure independence, which would in turn damage the US-Taiwan relationship, imperil the country's security, destroy the country's image, and impair the public's interests.
"Since the president's plan violates the public's wish to maintain the cross-strait status quo, the legislature should approve the censure," KMT caucus whip Pan Wei-kang (
Following the KMT's motion of censure, Lu told a press conference that the PFP didn't think the censure would persuade the president to give up on his plan.
"We have to adopt more concrete actions to oppose the president's plan, rather than just a censure," he said.
The PFP have proposed asking Taiwan's representative to Washington David Lee (李大維) and the National Security Council's Secretary-General Chiou I-ren (邱義仁) to brief the legislature on the affect that the abolition of the unification council would have on US-Taiwan relations.
The KMT's motion of censure and the PFP's proposal are to be discussed in today's Procedure Committee, which is dominated by the pan-blue camp.
If the proposals receive the approval of the procedure committee, the legislature could vote on them as soon as at next Friday's meeting.
Meanwhile, Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Joseph Wu (
Wu made the remarks in response to China's Taiwan Affairs Office Director Chen Yunlin (
"[Chen Yunlin's] comments reflect the fact that China is unable or unwilling to understand Taiwan," Wu said.
"Taiwan is a democratic country and the people of Taiwan should be entitled to make their own choice for the future based on their free will. The unification council and guidelines are products of the KMT dictatorship which restrict Taiwan's future options to unification alone. This is absolutely against the current status quo," Wu said.
KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (
"What President Chen [has proposed] goes against public opinion and is harmful to Taiwan-US relations," Ma said. "Even foreign media are critical of the issue and can't help but wonder what Chen is doing."
Ma restated the KMT's cross-strait policy of maintaining the status quo, and warned of possible repercussions if the council and guidelines are scrapped.
"[The council] has its symbolic meaning, and abolishing it would do harm to Taiwan-US and Taiwan-China relations," Ma said. "A president should help to create national unity, instead of creating controversy and confusing the people."
Additional reporting by Chang Yun-ping
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