IPF URGES BEIJING TO REMOVE MISSILES AIMED AT TAIWAN
Taipei, Jan. 14 (CNA) The International Parliamentary Forum (IPF) for Asia-Pacific Security urged Beijing Wednesday to remove or dismantle the missiles it has deployed targeting Taiwan.
In a joint statement issued after concluding discussions at its first annual convention, which opened a day earlier in Taipei, the international parliamentary organization said that mainland China should renounce the use of force against Taiwan and should engage with Taiwan in negotiations in order to establish protocols designed to ensure peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
The growing mainland military power poses a long-term threat to stability in the region and it's hostile posturing toward Taiwan is a disturbing sign of its likely broader intentions in the future, representing a source of constant worry for its peace-loving neighbors, it added.
The IPF also recognized Taiwan's right to hold referendums, affirming that Taiwan's planned "defensive referendum" is purely and simply a democratic exercise for the people and government of Taiwan.
Noting that it is the fundamental right of all countries to conduct referendums in accordance with their domestic laws and regulations, the IPF believes that such peaceful expressions of popular opinion should not be interpreted as either aggressive or provocative.
The IPF also expressed its concern over North Korea's nuclear ambitions, saying that it poses a grave threat to the region, as well as to the global nonproliferation regime.
The IPF commended the joint efforts of the United States, Japan, South Korea, Russia, mainland China and the European Union, in cooperation with the United Nations, to reach collective settlement with North Korea.
The U.S.-Japan defense cooperation pact remains an important pillar of regional security, the IPF went on, suggesting that efforts should be made to consider expanding it to other allies in the region and eventually incorporating all regional democracies.
Also, the international parliamentary group called for economic cooperation among all countries in the region.
Greater efforts need to be made to revive the Doha round of trade talks and raise the credibility of the World Trade Organization (WTO) as an engine for greater economic equity, it added in the statement.
Both the advanced and developing countries will need to make compromises and sacrifices for the sake of mutual interests, it asserted, adding that the Asia-Pacific region, as one of the largest economic groupings in the world, should take a proactive stance to address and resolve these issues.
More than 150 delegates from 50 countries participated in the meeting that will run through Thursday.
The delegates from Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Burkina Faso, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, the European Union, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, South Korea, Malawi, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and host Taiwan agreed that the IPF second annual convention will be held in June 2005 in Washington, D.C.
(By Huang Kwang-chun)
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