Mon, Feb 27, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Ma warns Chen that he risks losing the trust of the US

CNA , TAIPEI

With President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and the US seemingly on a collision course with regard to Chen's intention to abolish the National Unification Council, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) urged the president yesterday not to destroy the long-standing trust between Taiwan and the US.

Ma called on Chen to "place the interests of the people above personal gains" and not to adversely affect cross-strait stability.

In reply to media questions after presiding over the opening of an art exhibition, Ma said he was in no mood to make any further comments on this issue, as the powers that be should make people's daily lives their top priority.

"Whether or not to do away with the council and guidelines will not add or deduct an ounce from people's problems," he said.

Ma said that the government should instead focus its attention on such problems as "credit card slaves," many of whom have ended up taking extreme measures to evade their credit card debts.

The People First Party (PFP) urged the president to "rein in his horse before he jumps off a cliff."

PFP spokesman Hsieh Kung-ping (謝公秉) said it is beyond doubt that both the US and China have deep suspicions about Chen's recent moves toward abolishing the council and guidelines, one of his five campaign promises to not destabilizing the cross-strait situation.

Chen's expression of his intention to do away with the guidelines and what he called "outdated and anachronistic" council have severely affected Taiwan's national security and international reputation, Hsieh said.

Hsieh said that if Chen continues to ignore the opposition's warnings, his party will be forced to consider the possibility of launching a campaign to recall the president together with other like-minded political forces.

""As of now, our strategy is to ask President Chen or other responsible officials to make a special report on the subject to the legislature," he said.

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