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2004-03-05 16:01:45

    Taipei, March 5 (CNA) Vice President Annette Lu on Friday said that Taiwan will continue to play an indispensable role in defending peace and democracy in the future and urged the free world not to tolerate mainland Chinese missiles aimed at Taiwan.

    Lu made the remarks while addressing the opening ceremony of a two-day Asian forum being held by Liberal International in Kaohsiung City.

    Taiwan's democratic achievements are well known in the world, the vice president said. However, Beijing still sees the island as a renegade province and has never abandoned the threat of the use of force against Taiwan.

    She further said that Beijing has deployed about 500 missiles targeting Taiwan and number is expected to increase to 650.

    The mainland Chinese people did not authorized their government to deploy the missiles against Taiwan since they have no right to choose their national leaders nor are they allowed to discuss the missile deployment issue, Lu said, adding that it's unthinkable that Beijing's missile deployment has successfully avoided international sanctions. She therefore called for the free world not to tolerate the mainland because of the missiles aimed at Taiwan.

    Considering hostility across the Taiwan Strait in the past was due to different basic values -- freedom and democracy on one side and communism and totalitarian on the other, the vice president said that communism could expand to East Asia or to the Pacific region and even into the backyard of the United States if Taiwan did not exist.

    Taiwan does not belong to mainland China and the island, which has been called an "unsinkable aircraft carrier" that had prevented the expansion of communism in the Cold War era, has made great contributions to the world, she said, adding that Taiwan will continue to play an indispensable role in defending world peace, freedom and democracy in the future.

    Illustrating the progress of Taiwan's democratization she has experienced, Lu said that she and President Chen Shui-bian accomplished the island's first change-over of political power.

    Saying that the Taiwan people treasure their rights to choose the nation's leaders as well as protesting against mainland China's missiles, the vice president said that these rights are universal human rights which were passed and affirmed by the United Nations in 1984.

    She also said that the "hand-in-hand protect Taiwan" activity held Feb. 28 and the first planned referendum to be held on the same day of the presidential election set for March 20 demonstrate the Taiwan people's will of showing the world their dissatisfaction with mainland China as well as their desire of pursuing peace.

    Liberal International, a London-based organization which groups more than 80 liberal parties from 62 countries, adopted a resolution to condemn mainland China's test-firing of missiles off the waters of Taiwan in 1996.

    In a resolution it passed last year, the group also expressed its support for Taiwan's bid to join the World Health Organization and various agencies of the United Nations. The resolution also says that the people of Taiwan have the right to decide their own future by democratic means.

(By P.C.Tang)


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