MAC head denies asking uncle to talk with China

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

Sat, Feb 25, 2006 - Page 3

Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday denied that he had asked his uncle to pass a message to the Chinese authorities that the proposal to scrap the National Unification Council would not alter the cross-strait "status quo."

Wu made the remarks in response to a report in the Chinese-language United Daily News that said he and his uncle Wu Li-pei (吳澧培), currently a senior presidential advisor, had together asked Wu Li-pei's brother Wu Shu-pei (吳澍培), who has good connections with the Chinese authorities, to deliver a message to Beijing that "Taiwan will go ahead and abolish the unification council, but will not cross the red line [by moving toward independence]."

"I did attend a family gathering a few days ago, but we only shook hands and said hello to each other. I did not speak much to my uncle, nor ask him for help. It is not true that I asked him to [deliver a message to China]," Joseph Wu said yesterday in response to questions from the media.

Wu's uncles have very different political stances. Wu Li-pei is a long-term supporter of Taiwanese independence. Wu Shu-pei, however, is known for his pro-China political stance.

After hearing the content of the United Daily News report, Wu Li-Pei yesterday furiously demanded that the newspaper make a public apology, or else he would consider filing a lawsuit.

He also said that Taiwan and China are two countries on either side of the Taiwan Strait, and that the latter is an "enemy." He therefore could not understand what was meant by a "red line" between the two states, saying that what Taiwan does is none of China's business.

He said that he only met Wu Shu-pei once over the past year at a family gathering when his just-married niece returned to her parents' home on Sunday.

Additional reporting by Tzou Jiing-wen