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ROC Central News Agency

2005-03-10 14:55:07

    London, March 9 (CNA) The crisis in the Taiwan Strait lies in Beijing's insistence on its "one-China principle, " the Republic of China representative to Britain said Wednesday.

    Edgar Lin made the remarks when the anchorwoman of BBC News 24 TV asked him to comment on the threat to Taiwan posed by Beijing's proposed anti-secession law which authorizes the "use of non-peaceful means" against the island in certain situations. The National People's Congress (NPC), China's rubber stamp parliament, is expected to enact the law before its annual session ends Monday.

    Lin pointed out that Taiwan has been a sovereign, independent country for over the past five decades and is not part of the People's Republic of China.

    The crisis in the Taiwan Strait lies in Beijing's insistence on its one-China "principle, " Lin said, noting that in fact, other countries have only acknowledged the one-China "policy."

    The principle and policy are two different things, Lin explained, noting that a principle cannot change, while policy, which is the decision made by a certain body, can be altered through negotiations. He added that this is the reason why Taiwan keeps urging China to engage in negotiations with the island.

    The ROC representative stressed that Taiwan hopes to live with China peacefully because after all, Taiwan is in a disadvantageous position when under military threat from China.

    He pointed out that in addition to deploying more than 800 missiles along its coastal provinces targeting Taiwan, Beijing has also relentlessly squeezed Taiwan's maneuvering space internationally.

    The proposed anti-secession law is in fact an attempt by Beijing to create an excuse to annex Taiwan, Lin claimed.

    Meanwhile, an Amnesty International representative who was interviewed during the same program said that 16 years after the Tiananmen Square Massacre, China's human rights record has yet to improve. He said that many who were detained before the bloody crackdown have still not been released.

    Recently, a great number of people in China have been detained for pushing for more human rights, he said, adding that some have even been arrested simply for visiting Web sites advocating more human rights.

    The representative from the international human rights group also said that China executes 100,000 people a year, more than the number of people executed in all other countries combined.

    Chinese authorities have not relaxed their suppression of political and religious groups, he continued, adding that Amnesty International has not see any signs of improvement in China's human rights record.

    He added that if the European Union lifts its arms embargo against China, which it has been considering for the last several months, this will send a weird message to human rights activists in China.

    Lin agreed with the Amnesty International representative's remarks on China's human rights record. However, he added that the international community has focused on political suppression, saying that this is only "a drop in the bucket" of Beijing's human rights violations. He added that in looking at China's human rights record, attention should also be paid to its economic exploitation of women, children and minority groups.

(By N.K. Han and Lilian Wu)


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