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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Central News Agency

2005-03-01 23:27:48

    Taipei, March 1 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian called on the European Union Tuesday to support Taiwan and not to lift its arms embargo on mainland China.

    In a teleconference with several European parliamentarians and journalists in Brussels, Chen said the E.U.'s possible lifting of the embargo is a cause of serious concern to the United States and Japan because both countries understand it would tip the military balance between Taiwan and the mainland.

    Citing the repeated resolution of the European Parliament demanding that Beijing withdraw its missiles targeting Taiwan, the president said that the number of Beijing's missiles has increased from 496 in 2003 to 706 this year.

    The lifting of the arms embargo would also send the wrong message to the mainland authorities that the communist regime need neither improve its human rights record nor move toward democracy.

    He also urged the European states to realize the mainland's attempts to unilaterally change the status quo across the Taiwan Strait by enacting an anti-secession law designed to prevent Taiwan from pursuing its own political identity.

    The law would give the mainland the legal basis to dictate the status of Taiwan, which would disrupt the stability across the strait and pose a serious risk to peace in the Asian Pacific region, Chen claimed.

    He rebutted the criticism from "leaders of certain countries" of his decision to hold a national referendum along with the 2004 presidential election, saying that referendum is an inherent part of democracy, and questioned "Why can France hold a referendum but Taiwan cannot?"

(By Maubo Chang)


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