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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

DPP lawmakers challenge president on "no war" statement

ROC Central News Agency

08/10/21 20:46:01

By Elizabeth Hsu

Taipei, Oct. 21 (CNA) The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers expressed concern Tuesday over President Ma Ying-jeou's assurance that there will be "no war across the Taiwan Strait in the next four years, " saying China has never shown its good will toward Taiwan.

Stating his vision for the country's defense before top military leaders earlier in the day, Ma declared, "there will be no war between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait in the next four years."

Ma also stressed, however, that Taiwan has to maintain a strong defense even if the country has no desire to go to war with the mainland.

DPP caucus whip Lai Ching-te and Legislator Yeh Yi-jin criticized the statement at a press conference at the Legislative Yuan, wondering what the basis was for it.

China's deployment of missiles targeting Taiwan has increased from 400 in 2000 to 1,328 in 2008, the lawmakers said, a sign of China's lack of good will toward Taiwan over the past decade that led them to question Ma's declaration.

They asked whether Chen Yunlin, president of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, would be willing to display good will toward Taiwan on behalf of China during his upcoming visit to Taiwan and promise to dismantle the missiles.

They also wondered if President Ma would be willing to ask Chen to convey to Beijing a request to dismantle the missiles.

Speculating that Ma might have signed a "secret" agreement with China to back his peace pledge, the DPP legislative caucus demanded that any agreement signed by Taiwan and China affecting Taiwan's future would be required to be screened by the Legislative Yuan.

They also insisted that no cross-strait agreement could take effect without a public referendum.

Among the pacts that would be subject to such a requirement would be a peace agreement forged with China, a deal Ma has said he hopes to complete during his term in office.

Echoing the fears of his DPP colleagues that such a peace deal would be signed in secret, DPP lawmaker Gao Jyh-peng proposed to draft a bill of regulations on managing agreements signed by Taiwan and China that would formalize the legislature's role in approving such accords.

Gao was skeptical that Ma's so-called "peace accord" could really bring peace, saying that China had signed a "peace accord" with Tibet but still sent troops to crack down on democratic movements there.

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