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POLITICAL PARTIES CONDEMN BEIJING'S CALL FOR UNIFICATION LAW

2004-05-12 22:17:41

    Taipei, May 12 (CNA) Political parties across the political spectrum who seldom see eye to eye on anything condemned in chorus Wednesday Beijing's attempt to underline its territorial claim over Taiwan by enacting a unification law.

    Lawmaker Tsai Huang-lang of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) dismissed the attempt as wishful thinking on Beijing's part.

    Instead of helping advance Beijing's designs against Taiwan, Tsai said, such a law would only betray Beijing's attempts to alter the status quo across the Taiwan Strait unilaterally, which is a provocation to Taiwan and a challenge to Washington's policy that neither Taiwan nor Beijing should push the envelope in terms of issue affecting cross-Taiwan Strait stability.

    Liao Feng-teh, a lawmaker of the opposition Kuomintang said the law, to be domestic in nature, would have no binding force on the Republic of China, which is a sovereign state.

    Meanwhile, Legislator Chen Chien-ming from the pro-independence group of the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) said Beijing should first face up to what the TSU has always claimed and Beijing has always denied -- there are two separate governments on each side of the Taiwan Strait -- before attempting to enact a national unification law.

    In retaliation of Beijing's unfriendly gesture of announcing the possibility of enacting such a law, he urged the government to abandon the National Unification Council and Guidelines for National Unification, since both are symbols of Taiwan's pursuit of reunification with the mainland and have been left in abeyance since President Chen Shui-bian came to office four years ago.

    Liao Fu-teh, an associated researcher at the Academia Sinica, said the law would be an attempt on Beijing's behalf to pacify its military leaders and other hawks who are eager to turn up the heat on Taiwan after the pro-independence president, Chen Shui-bian, won a second term in the March 20 election.

    He suggested that Taiwan watch closely whether Beijing stipulates a timetable and means for unification in such legislation if it is enacted.

(By Maubo Chang)

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