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ROC Central News Agency

2005-03-14 20:21:57

    Houston, Texas, March 13 (CNA) Visiting Republic of China Vice President Annette Lu urged the United Nations Sunday to stridently condemn China over its enactment of a law authorizing the use of force against Taiwan.

    Lu, who arrived in Houston Saturday evening for a three-day transit stay en route to a Central America diplomatic tour that will take her to El Salvador and Guatemala, made the appeal in a speech delivered at a dinner given in her honor by major Taiwanese associations in Texas.

    The dinner happened to coincide with the passage of the Anti-Secession Law by China's rubber-stamp parliament -- the National People's Congress -- in Beijing before the conclusion of its 10-day annual plenary session.

    Noting that Article 8 of the law states: "If Taiwan independence forces, under any name or by any means, cause secession, a major incident causing Taiwan to split from China occurs, or if possibilities for peaceful unification are exhausted, the state can use non-peaceful means and other necessary measures to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, " Lu said the legislation is actually a "war authorization law" in which China gives itself the rights to legislation, interpretation and sanction.

    In her view, Lu said, the law is "not a law, " but rather a political statement aimed at forcing Taiwan to accept its "one China" principle as an ultimate unification term.

    By enacting the law, Lu said, Beijing has unequivocally revealed a move to unilaterally alter the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.

    Noting that such a move is clearly in violation of common global interests, Lu said the international community should condemn Beijing's new legislation. As China is a member of the U.N. Security Council, Lu said, the United Nations should condemn China over its stark violation of the U.N. charter, which bans the use of force in resolving any international disputes.

    The outspoken vice president also urged the United States to show moral courage by denouncing the Anti-Secession Law, which Lu said runs against the fundamental U.S. premise of peaceful solution to cross-strait disputes under which it established diplomatic ties with China in 1979.

    Lu, a legal scholar-turned-politician, said Taiwan's future -- independence or unification -- is basically a political issue, not a legal one. "Taiwan is not subject to China's law and the so-called Anti-Secession Law is inapplicable to Taiwan. Even though the cross-strait situation is grim, we need not be panicked by the new Beijing legislation. We should remain calm and redouble our efforts to accelerate our national development and beef up our defense capacity to counter Beijing's ever-mounting military threat," Lu said.

    On Sunday, Lu had lunch with a group of pro-Taiwan Texan lawmakers at a Texas-style steakhouse in downtown Houston visited by President Chen in June 2001. She received special gifts of a cowboy hat and a waistcoat. Later in the day, she attended a cowboy festival show at Reliant Park -- the world's largest cowboy showground and American football stadium. Lu was accorded high-level courtesies, circling around the 1.9 million-square- foot stadium aboard an open-topped limousine and being introduced to a full house as "Taiwan's vice president."

    Wearing a cowboy hat, Lu waved to the crowd and received a resounding two-minute welcome. Many Taiwan expatriates were surprised and excited by Lu's unexpected appearance. The show was also broadcast live to 52 countries around the world, helping to enhance Taiwan's international visibility.

    Meanwhile, China's consulate in Houston mobilized a group of Chinese expatriates and students in Texas to demonstrate outside the restaurant where Lu dined with representatives of the Taiwanese community in the southern U.S. state.

    Lu is scheduled to visit the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) headquarters Monday morning, making her the first ROC vice president to tour an official U.S. organization such as NASA during a transit stop. Lu was greeted by William Brown, acting chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), and David Ta-wei Lee, Taiwan's de facto ambassador to the United States, upon her arrival in Houston aboard a charter flight Saturday evening.

    Lu and her 152-member entourage will leave for El Salvador Monday to start her two-leg Central America diplomatic tour aimed at cementing ties with the ROC's diplomatic allies and exploring investment opportunities for Taiwan businesses.

    According to her itinerary, Lu will look into the possibility of establishing a special industrial park to accommodate Taiwan-invested firms in El Salvador.

    She will also attend a regional meeting of the Democratic Pacific Union (DPU) in America in Guatemala. Representatives from six Central American allies and five non-allied countries in North, Central and South America will attend the meeting, which will be a warm-up to a DPU regional organization to be established in Taipei Aug. 14.

    During her diplomatic tour, Lu will meet with Salvadoran President Elias Antonio Saca and Vice President Ana Vilma De Escobar, as well as Guatemalan President Oscar Berger. She will also deliver speeches at the two countries' parliaments.

(By Yang Chia-hui and Sofia Wu)


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