Tue, Jun 03, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Wu's comments fire missile row

UNDER ATTACK The pan-green camp accused the Chinese Nationalist Party chairman of being a danger to national security and said he had become a tool of Beijing’s ambitions

By Rich Chang and Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

DPP legislators yesterday criticized Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) after he said he felt it was unlikely that Beijing would launch a missile attack against Taiwan.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said Wu’s remarks could only further numb the public, making people less vigilant, and that the comments posed a danger to national security.

Ker said China’s attitude toward Taiwan has always been hypocritical, yet it remains malignant.

He added that it was ridiculous for Wu to evaluate the nation’s security using just his “feelings.”

DPP caucus whip William Lai (賴清德) said China wanted to take over Taiwan and that Wu had become a tool of Beijing’s ambitions.

Lai said the direction of China’s missiles would not follow Wu’s “feelings.”

KMT Secretary-General Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) stood firm behind Wu Poh-hsiung’s remarks, calling on China to decrease the number of the missiles as a gesture of goodwill.

Wu Den-yih said Beijing had told the party on many occasions that the missiles were aimed at “the Pacific Ocean,” but he said Beijing should consider Taiwanese “feelings,” since both sides wanted to create a win-win situation and put controversies aside.

Wu Den-yih said it was “very difficult” to ask China to remove the missiles immediately, given Beijing’s own national defense needs, but he believed Beijing knows it must reduce Taiwanese negative feelings toward China resulting from the deployment of the missiles.

He said he believed the Chinese leadership would deliberate on the issue with “goodwill” and “sincerity.”

KMT caucus deputy secretary-general Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) said the party hoped that the upcoming talks between the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) would help to institutionalize communications across the Strait.

He said that military tension could be further reduced through the establishment of a confidence-building mechanism in military affairs.

In related news, Wu Den-yih said gaining entry to the WHO using the name “Chinese Taipei” was a way to put aside controversy and serve the interests of the Taiwanese people.

He said the nation’s participation in APEC and on the International Olympic Committee using the name “Chinese Taipei” was acceptable to all sides and does not provoke any controversy in terms of sovereignty.

“Can our young athletes compete and honor the nation in the Olympic Games if we do not use the title ‘Chinese Taipei’? If we do not use this title, we will even encounter difficulty attending the meetings of APEC or the WTO,” he said.

The nation should never make concessions in terms of sovereignty, but controversy should be put aside, he said.

“This is the best way to safeguard the interests of our people,” he said.

Wu was commenting on a Chinese-language China Times report yesterday, which cited an anonymous KMT source as saying that Beijing had agreed to discuss Taiwan’s participation in the WHO during the upcoming talks between SEF and ARATS.

The story said that the KMT government was considering proposing Taiwan’s participation using the name “Chinese Taipei,” although the proposal was not finalized.

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