PREMIER URGES BEIJING TO HEED TAIWAN PUBIC OPINION
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, March 2 (CNA) Premier Frank Hsieh urged mainland China Wednesday to heed President Chen Shui-bian's recent comment on the nation's sovereignty and not miscalculate Taiwan public opinion.
The premier was referring to Chen's statement Feb. 24 that the "Republic of China is a sovereign independent country, that the ROC's sovereignty belongs to the 23 million people of Taiwan and that only the 23 million people of Taiwan can make a final decision on any change of the nation's future."
The premier made the remarks as mainland China's rubber-stamp National People's Congress is about to meet to review and approve Beijing's proposed "anti-secession law." The law will lay the legal basis for Beijing to use force against Taiwan should the island declare independence.
Hsieh said the proposed law has caused revulsion among a great majority of the Taiwan people and that lawmakers across the party spectrum are opposed to it.
He urged Beijing not to miscalculate Taiwan public opinion and to adhere to its earlier statement that it "pins its hopes on the Taiwan people and respects the will of the Taiwan people to be their own masters."
Hsieh said that the recent outcry over the proposed law has shown to the international community and Beijing the voice of the Taiwan people, which says they love peace, want to maintain the status quo and insist on Taiwan's own identity.
He urged the international community to pay attention to peace in the Taiwan Strait and to work toward preventing Beijing's anti-secession legislation.
Hsieh also said that passing the "anti-secession law" would lack wisdom and undermine the basis for cross-strait co-existence. The enactment will not only sabotage the positive atmosphere between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait that developed in the wake of the charter flights during the Chinese New Year holiday, but will also have negative impact on cross-strait exchanges.
The premier also urged Beijing to contribute more positively to cross-strait peace and to stop using intimidation as an approach.
(By Lilian Wu)
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