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KMT CHAIRMAN WARNS BEIJING AGAINST INTERFERING WITH TAIWAN ELECTION

2004-02-11 17:24:18

    Taipei, Feb. 11 (CNA) Opposition Kuomintang Chairman Lien Chan warned Beijing Wednesday against interfering with Taiwan's presidential election slated for March 20.

    Lien called for the Beijing authorities to refrain from tampering with the election, saying that previous such moves show that Beijing gained nothing after mounting military threats toward Taiwan in the run-up to major elections.

    Noting that the election is a time for the Taiwan people to demonstrate their democratic power in a sovereign state, Lien said the last thing he wants to see is tampering on the part of Beijing.

    Past experience shows that after Beijing launched military threats toward Taiwan, including firing missiles and holding live-ammunition war games in the Taiwan Strait in the run-up to previous presidential elections, Taiwan voters were angered rather than intimidated by Beijing's scheming to alter the election results, Lien noted.

    Lien made the remarks during a ceremony to mark the establishment of a national headquarters for supporters of the opposition "pan-blue alliance" presidential ticket of Lien and People First Party Chairman James Soong.

    Meanwhile, Lien appealed to his rival, President Chen Shui-bian, who is seeking re-election, not to bring in an ill harvest by accusing the Lien-Soong ticket of benefiting from support by the Chinese communists and Taiwanese businessmen operating in mainland China.

    Lien called for Chen not to stigmatize the "pan-blue alliance" people as either criminals or communists.

    Quoting what he said were recent analyses by several foreign media bodies, Lien claimed that Taiwan's voters have already made their choices and predicted that there will be a new leadership in Taiwan after March 20.

(By Deborah Kuo)

ENDITEM/J <<< U.S. DOLLAR DOWN ON TAIPEI FOREX >>> BUDGET FOR MARCH 20 REFERENDUM WILL EXCEED NT$300 MILLION: CEC



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