Thu, Sep 21, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet spokesman says military coup is unlikely

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

Taiwan's military pledges its allegiance to the nation, and it is unlikely that it would stage a coup as might be the case in other newly emerging democracies, a spokesman for the Executive Yuan said yesterday.

Cabinet Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said that the government has been striving to ensure the neutrality of the military ever since the Democratic Progressive Party came to power in 2000.

"We have faith in our own military," he said at a press conference at the Government Information Office in Taipei yesterday afternoon.

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) told the media briefing that he was quite confident that a military coup like the one that took place in Thailand on Tuesday would not happen in Taiwan.

"The military culture in Thailand as well as many other Southeast Asian countries is quite different from what we have here in Taiwan. ... The majority of the Taiwanese people believe that we must play by the rules," Wu said.

He added that a strong democratic structure was in place in Taiwan, which meant that a coup would be almost impossible to carry out.

Wu also used the opportunity to say that the government's attitude toward cross-strait relations remained unchanged, and that the government's policy of opening up to visitors from China had not changed.

He said that 60 Chinese employees of pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson came to Taiwan for a meeting on Aug. 16, while 421 Chinese employees of Microsoft came to Taiwan for their annual managerial meeting on Aug. 20. Another 328 Chinese publishers arrived yesterday to attend a seminar for cross-strait publishers.

For the near future, Wu said, the MAC has approved requests from another four groups of Chinese visitors: 100 members of a Chinese Buddhist organization who will arrive on Oct. 4, 500 members of the Chinese Hakka Association on Oct. 27, 600 travel agents on Nov. 1 and another 100 Chinese publishers for a separate seminar on Nov. 10.

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