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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Taiwan's fate may worse than Tibet's under 'one China': DPP hopeful

ROC Central News Agency

2008-03-20 19:17:27

    Taipei, March 20 (CNA) Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh warned that if Taiwan accepts Beijing's "one-China principle " it may suffer a fate more miserable than that being borne by Tibet under the rule of China.

    Addressing a rally at Da An Forest Park in Taipei City held Wednesday evening in a show of support for Tibet where demonstrators are being suppressed by China, Hsieh said that he was duty bound to apprise the people of Taiwan of the disastrous consequences that could be brought about by the acceptance of the "one-China principle, " and the "one-China common market" plan proposed by his Kuomintang rival Ma Ying-jeou. "If we admit that we are not a country and accept the 'one-China'

principle, our status and future might not be better than Tibet's

and might be even more miserable, " the DPP standard bearer

cautioned. "As we have not given up our sovereignty, today we can still enjoy the democratic right to elect a president," Hsieh noted.

    The democratization of Taiwan, South Korea and many other countries was achieved smoothly with the help of international concerns, without which it would not have succeeded, he said.

    Hsieh also reiterated that he will honor his promise to permanently retire from the political arena if he loses the March 12 election. "I don't regret making that pledge and even if I lose, I would not leave Taiwan, " he said.

    Hsieh drew a parallel between Tibet's plight and the Taiwan situation, saying that Taiwan's future should be determined by its people and that, by the same token, the Tibetans have the right to decide their own future. "We oppose China's crackdown on Tibet and oppose China's threats against Taiwan, " Hsieh said, referring to the more than 1,000 missiles deployed along the east coast of China and aimed squarely at Taiwan. "There should be no double standards in human rights, " Hsieh said.

    He also expressed the hope that Ma would show concern for Tibet and for Taiwan's future, and would join him in safeguarding Taiwan, adding that Taiwan would be more secure if he and Ma collaborate to protect it.

    Moreover, Hsieh stated that Taiwan should always be ruled by a political party with Taiwan-centric consciousness. He added, however, that people who recognize Taiwanese identity and Taiwan history and who stick to the dream of freedom should always have the right to decide their future, regardless of whether they may be mainlanders, aborigines, Hakka or Holo.

    The DPP hopeful made the remarks at a rally that was also attended by DPP vice presidential candidate Su Tseng-chang, former DPP chairman Hsu Hsin-liang and Regional Tibetan Youth Congress Vice President Tashi Tsering Khangsar.

    The event culminated in a torch-lit ritual, presided over by Hsieh, during which the Tibetan flag was unfurled and the crowd waved banners and placards reading, "Support for Tibet" and "Opposition to one-China policy" and shouted "Independence for Tibet," "Independence for Taiwan" and other slogans.

    Another activity in support of Tibet kicked off from 7 p.m. Thursday at Liberty Square in front of the National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall and was expected to run for 24 hours.

    Some 20 groups from musical, human rights, cultural and academic circles were scheduled to perform or deliver speeches at the event.

(By Y.L. Kao)

ENDITEM /pc



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