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China's reaction to referendum unpredictable: MAC

ROC Central News Agency

2008-03-20 22:53:40

    Taipei, March 20 (CNA) It is virtually impossible to predict Beijing's reaction if either or both of the referendums pass in Saturday's election because it is a totalitarian regime, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairman Chen Ming-tong told a group of foreign reporters Thursday. "It is not a government that can be trusted. It has always claimed that it will peacefully resolve the Tibet issue and has promised that it will continue its dialogue with the Dalai Lama, " Chen responded to a reporter's question.

    Chen expressed optimism that Beijing will become a democratic country one day and when that day comes, issues surrounding Taiwanese and Tibetan independence will be resolved.

    However, before that day arrives, Taiwan and China must reach a consensus on how to achieve stability and harmony across the Taiwan Strait to better serve the interests of the people on both sides.

    He reiterated Taipei's usual stance that it will never engage in a dialogue with China until Beijing agrees to remove the "one-China" principle framework as a precondition for talks.

    He further defended both of Taiwan¡¦s referendum proposals -- one proposed by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party on whether Taiwan should join the United Nations under the name Taiwan and the other put forward by the opposition Kuomintang on rejoining the U.N. under the name Republic of China or some other "suitable" title -- saying that they are "neither an independence movement nor aprovocative act, but rather the Taiwanese people's humble wish to receive a `license' to the international community after a long period of apartheid."

    Beijing has been trying to distort the meaning of the DPP's referendum, which is simply a representation of will of the Taiwanese, he said. "It¡¦s hard for me to fathom people¡¦s assumptions that the referendum will lead to a disaster, " he said, adding that the act of holding referendums has always been a tool for exercising the people's democratic will.

    Chen also took the opportunity to ridicule Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's recent claim that Taiwan's fate must be determined by the people living both in China and in Taiwan and that the 1.3 billion Chinese citizens should be permitted to cast votes in Saturday's election.

(By Chris Wang)


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