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Taiwan Calls on the International Community to Say "No" to China's Anti-Separation Law

  • Date:2004-12-27

Jaushieh Joseph Wu Mainland Affairs Council China has decided to send the anti-separation law draft to the standing committee of the National People’s Congress, and the standing committee of the NPC has approved the draft. I, on behalf of the government of Taiwan, would like to make the following statement on the event: After President Chen was re-elected for the second term, the government of Taiwan has continuously tried to reach out to China with olive branches and hoped that cross-Strait relations could be improved. Nonetheless, to the utter disappointment of the Taiwan government and people, the Chinese government responded every time, without exception, by vicious attacks against Taiwan. More to our dismay and anger, China issued a statement about its intention of enacting an anti-separation law to aim specifically at Taiwan. To Taiwan, this is unilateral change of the status quo, a very serious provocation, and an absolutely unnecessary escalation of tension for the following reasons: 1. After 1949, the Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China have been two separate entities and the two have no jurisdictions over each other. This is the fact that has existed for 55 years and has become the status quo across the Taiwan Strait. Peaceful coexistence should be a common goal between the two, rather than forceful annexation or upsetting the status quo without any peaceful negotiation. 2. China, through enacting the law, as the name of the law entails, defines the current status as “unified” and that it has jurisdiction over Taiwan. In doing so, China unilaterally changes the status quo. 3. In enacting the law, China unilaterally defines that the only tolerable outcome of the cross-Strait negotiation is unification, and any outcome other than unification is subject to punishment. 4. In enacting the law, China defines itself as the sole lawmaker in the cross-Strait interaction. 5. In enacting the law, China defines itself as the sole arbiter in the settlement of any disputes between the two. 6. In enacting the law, China defines itself as the sole law enforcer of the outcome of its own unilateral arbitration. 7. In enacting the law, China makes it more explicit than ever in the use of force against Taiwan as the law will legalize the use of force. For these reasons, I would urge the international community to pay attention to the following points: 1. The international community has not said anything to China when China responded with vicious attacks to Taiwan’s goodwill. 2. The international community has not said anything to China when China tried to suffocate Taiwan internationally. 3. The international community has not said anything to China when China continues to impose the “one China principle” on Taiwan when the principle is clear attempt to unilaterally changes the status quo. 4. The international community has not expressed explicit concern or opposition to China’s military buildup, as missile and submarine deployment has become the most serious threat to the region’s peace and stability. 5. The international community in general has not said “no” to China when China was about to enact the anti-separation law. It is quite clear that the inaction of the international community to China’s aggressive behavior against Taiwan encourages China to continue and even escalate its rhetoric and belligerent actions. In general, the international community’s response to China’s intention of enacting the law is that they will have to see the text. But by the time the text is released, it might be too late. The international community’s indifference to China’s hostile intent signals to China that it can do whatever it wants to Taiwan, including the use of force after the anti-separation law legalizes it. This is an urgent call to the international community to stop China before it is too late. Taiwan’s policy objective remains the same that the misunderstanding between Taiwan and China needs to be minimized and mutual trust needs to be built up by having normal interactions between the two, this is what we actively promote. Beginning from next spring, the Taiwan government will form the Council of Peace and Development to develop a national consensus on cross-Strait issues. We would also like to actively seek opportunities to establish a Framework for Peace and Stability to govern cross-Strait interactions and to prevent conflicts from happening before a final settlement is reached. We would like to have dialogues and negotiations with China on any issue, political issues included, in order to reduce the cross-Strait tension. But before that happens, the Chinese government, who unnecessarily escalates the tension by enacting the anti-separation law, has to halt and abandon its plan of enacting the law. (This text is a prepared statement by MAC Chairman Jaushieh Joseph Wu for the press conference on December 27, 2004.)