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HK CPPCC Members Strongly Condemn "Taiwan Independence" Remarks (08/12/02)
2003/12/24

More than 60 members of National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Hong Kong gathered on Aug. 12 to strongly condemn Chen Shui-bian's remarks on "Taiwan independence."

Henry Fok, vice-chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, said that Chen Shui-bian's claim of "one country on each side" was exactly the same thing as the "state-to-state" statement masterminded by his predecessor Lee Teng-hui, signaling that Chen was already on the road of "Taiwan independence".

"There is only one China, and Taiwan is part of China," Fok said, adding that this was acknowledged by the peoples from more than 100 countries. Chen's fallacy to split the motherland will surely be condemned by the international community, as well as people of the whole Chinese nation including the Taiwan compatriots, Fok said.

Chuang Shih Ping, member of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC National Committee, said at the symposium that Chen's claim revealed his real purpose of "Taiwan independence" and will surely sabotage the relations across the Taiwan Straits.

It is a common wish of the whole Chinese people including the 23 million Taiwan compatriots to realize the reunification of the motherland under the one-China principle, Chuang said. The peaceful reunification of the motherland is the happiness of the Taiwan people, Chuang added.

All the participants to the symposium sternly dismissed Chen's claim, saying that any attempts to split the motherland will never succeed. They warned that Chen has to stop any of his splitting activities.

The Federation of Hong Kong Guangdong Community Organizations also issued a statement to oppose "Taiwan independence" and safeguard the reunification of the motherland.

Beijing Wednesday firmly rejected Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian's defence of his "absurd theory'' that "each side is a country,'' asserting that it is only another way of trying to saying that "Taiwan is an independent sovereign state,'' with the same ultimate aim of trying to split China.

A top leader of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) said that Chen's statement is just further preaching for his separatist "Taiwan Independence'' gambit.

In his speech to the pro-independence World Federation of Taiwanese Association in Tokyo via teleconferencing on August 3, Chen said that "each side (of the Taiwan Straits) is a country'' and called for a referendum to decide Taiwan's future.

His remarks have drawn explosive responses.

On Tuesday, Chen sought to defuse the speech made over the weekend. Officials from Chen's ruling Democratic Progressive Party said that Chen's remarks had been "oversimplified'' and that he would not break his promise not to change the status quo.

Although Chen said in his inauguration address that he would not seek Taiwan independence, change the name of Taiwan, write the theory of two countries into the constitution nor hold a referendum on independence for the island, his proposals are exactly the same as the "two states" statement concocted by his predecessor Lee Teng-hui, said the official who asked to remain anonymous.

"This has laid bare Chen's determination to cling to 'Taiwan Independence','' he said.

Beijing-based leading experts on Taiwan studies also warned that Chen's "each side is a country'' is more "sinister'' and "undisguised'' than the "two states'' theory.

Li Jiaquan, a senior researcher with the Institute of Taiwan Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that Chen's insisting on "Taiwan Independence'' will create tensions and sabotage peace across the Straits and damage stability and peace in the Asia-Pacific region.

Su Ge, deputy director of the China Institute of International Studies, warned Chen not to misjudge the situation and underestimate the determination of the Chinese Government and people to bring about reunification.

Local polls by cable network ETTV in Taiwan showed Chen's approval rate sank to a record low of 46 per cent after his speech.

In Beijing, an Internet-based survey by Xinhua showed 88 per cent of respondents felt that Beijing should throw out any illusions they had about Chen Shui-bian after his weekend speech.


The ARATS leader criticized Chen for not accepting the one-China principle and still trying to deny, distort and evade the 1992 consensus reached by the ARATS and its Taiwan counterpart, the Straits Exchange Foundation, which will make it difficult for the two sides to resume negotiations.

The ARATS leader indicated that Chen's comments exposed his "true pro-independence stand.''

Chen's performance over the past two years has proved his adherence to splitting China, the official said.

China's consistent policy is to oppose Taiwan independence and bring about the goal of China's reunification, and this will never change, the ARATS leader stressed.

"We will never sit and watch a handful of Taiwan separatists impose their separatist attempts,'' he said.

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