TWO PRO-TAIWAN INDEPENDENCE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISERS QUIT
Central News Agency
Taipei, March 1 (CNA) Two pro-Taiwan independence advisers to President Chen Shui-bian resigned Tuesday to show their displeasure over the president's remarks on the nation's status during his meeting with opposition People First Party Chairman James Soong last Thursday.
Koo Kuan-min, senior adviser to the president, and Ng Chiau-tong, national policy adviser to the president, said they were disappointed at President Chen's joint statement with Soong in which Chen reaffirmed his "five noes" from his first inaugural address.
The "five noes" refer to no declaration of independence, no change of the nation's name, no inclusion of "state-to-state" relations with mainland China in the Constitution, no referendum to change the nation's status quo and no revocation of the National Unification Guidelines or the National Unification Council.
In response, Presidential Office officials said they are continuing to communicate with Koo and Ng, hoping to persuade them to stay on.
The officials also explained that President Chen's meeting with Soong was arranged to put an end to inter-party rivalry and confrontation and move toward party-to-party cooperation and reconciliation.
Koo announced in a news conference Tuesday that he will quit the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as well as his post as a senior adviser to the president.
Koo scathingly criticized the ruling DPP administration and stressed that from now on he will dedicate himself to the promotion of writing a new constitution for the nation and rectifying the nation's name from the ROC to Taiwan.
He said that he will watch what President Chen does and that "if he is willing to turn back, we are still partners."
He said that during his five-odd years as an adviser to the president, he has mentioned several times to Chen that the "five noes" would seriously undermine the existence and development of the nation, so it was with great disappointment that he learned of the president's reaffirmation of the "five noes" during his meeting with Soong. "One day the president wants to write a new constitution and the next day he wants to amend it; this gives the public the impression that he is constantly wavering," Koo said.
He harshly criticized Premier Frank Hsieh's remarks that he will not forcefully promote the writing a new constitution or the rectification of the nation's name, saying that the DPP won the right to rule exactly because these two stances were put forward as needed changes for the country and Hsieh shouldn't forget why they are attractive to people.
Ng, also chairman of the World United Formosans for Independence, sent his letter of resignation to the presidential Office Tuesday.
Ng said that he has not fulfilled his duty as a national policy adviser, and that his advice to the president did not receive the attention it deserved.
In addition, though he supported inter-party cooperation, Ng said the president paid too high a price in issuing the 10-point joint statement with Soong.
Meanwhile, the pro-independence party, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), said that Koo and Ng had worked with the DPP because of their long-term dedication to creating a new constitution for the nation and rectifying the nation's name.
Lo Chih-ming, caucus whip of the TSU in the Legislative Yuan, said that Koo and Ng hoped that President Chen would help them realize their ideals, but their dream was shattered after Chen's meeting with Soong.
(By Lilian Wu)
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