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BEIJING SHOULD PROVE IT WILL NOT INTERFERE IN TAIWAN'S ELECTION: CABINET

2004-02-11 21:24:42

    Taipei, Feb. 11 (CNA) Beijing should take concrete action to back up its claim that it will not meddle in Taiwan's March 20 presidential election, Cabinet spokesman Lin Chia-lung said Wednesday.

    Lin made the appeal after Zhang Mingqing, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) of mainland China's State Council, said at a news conference in Beijing earlier in the day that mainland Chinese authorities will "neither interfere with nor comment on" Taiwan's upcoming presidential election.

    Noting that actions speak louder than words, Lin said Beijing should answer the following three questions to prove that it will not interfere in the election and respects Taiwan.

    First of all, Beijing should explain why it has allowed a group of supporters of Taiwan's opposition "pan-blue alliance" presidential candidate to set up an office adjacent to the TAO to facilitate their quest for support for the "pan-blue" ticket of Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan and People First Party Chairman James Soong from Taiwanese business people operating on the mainland.

    Given Beijing's stringent restrictions on political activities and formation of private associations, Lin said he didn't think the "Lien-Soong campaign headquarters" could had been inaugurated on the mainland without the Beijing government's approval or cooperation.

    Second, Lin asked why the TAO would deny its role in the establishment of the Lien-Soong campaign headquarters on the mainland after the Republic of China government expressed serious concern about Beijing's meddling in Taiwan's upcoming election.

    Third, Lin asked why Beijing would harbor or provide shelter for a number of Taiwan fugitives, including several financial crime suspects or convicts. "Beijing should repatriate those fugitives within a specified period of time to prove its respect for Taiwan's judicial system and its claim of 'non-interference' in Taiwan's domestic affairs, " Lin urged.

    Stressing that Zhang's "non-interference" declaration should be substantiated by concrete action, Lin said Beijing should withdraw its hundreds of missiles pointed at Taiwan and refrain from making comments on Taiwan's presidential election and referendum plan. "'Shut up, missiles down' is the best way for Beijing to show its sincerity in promoting cross-Taiwan Strait rapprochement," Lin added.

(By Sofia Wu)

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