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Call for International Condemnation against China (MAC News Release No. 036, 14/03/2005)

March 14, 2005, No. 036

Call for International Condemnation against China

In response to the passage by China’s National People's Congress of the “anti-separation law” (so-called “anti-secession law”) this morning, the Mainland Affairs Council, on behalf of the Taiwanese government, issues the solemn declaration that the sovereignty of the Republic of China belongs to the twenty-three million Taiwanese people and that any means of infringement by the Chinese government will not be tolerated. Despite strong public opposition in Taiwan, as well as skepticism, concern and criticism from the international community, the Chinese government has deliberately proceeded to unilaterally change the status quo by passing legislation for “non-peaceful measures” against Taiwan, which clearly threatens the peace and stability in the area. With regard to this serious provocation and attempt to sabotage peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, the Taiwanese government expresses its severest condemnation of the Chinese government and also appeals to the international community to jointly condemn China’s action.

The Mainland Affairs Council further indicates that:

1. The status quo is that the Republic of China is independent and sovereign

The Republic of China is an independent and sovereign nation and its sovereignty rests in the hands of the twenty-three million Taiwanese people. Only the twenty-three million Taiwanese people have the right to make the final decision on any change to the nation’s status and future.

Taiwan is not under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China. This is the explicit common position of the Taiwanese people. The Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China both exist and have no jurisdiction over each other. This has long been the status quo in the Taiwan Strait.

Today, the Chinese government turned the fictitious “one China principle” into a law that clearly states that “unification” is “the Taiwanese people's legal duty and sacred responsibility,” thereby unilaterally changing the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. Not only is this kind of serious provocation unhelpful to the development of cross-strait relations, but it also brought emotional pain to the Taiwanese people, restricts Taiwan’s freedom and democracy, and has a serious impact on security in the East-Asia region.

2. Peace is the only solution to the cross-Strait issue

In recent years, China’s rapid growth in its military spending and increased military deployment targeting Taiwan has turned the rhetoric "striving for peace diligently" into nothing but a joke. This has also become the most serious cause of instability in East Asia, which has already been obvious to the international community.

In the past few weeks, the Chinese government has arrogantly declared that the “anti-separation law” provides a legal basis for taking “non-peaceful measures against Taiwan.” At the same time, the article itself is so illusive that it provides a blank check for the Chinese People's Liberation Army to use any measure to annex Taiwan. China’s non-peaceful actions will inevitably violate the fundamental rights of the Taiwanese people in the future, yet the Chinese government shamelessly expressed the desire to "place hope in the Taiwan people," and that it will take care of the Taiwanese people even while attacking them. This kind of self-contradiction has already caused utter resentment among the Taiwanese people.

The Chinese government has completely disregarded the repeated calls of the international community for a peaceful resolution to the dispute between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. The attempt to deal with the issue through non-peaceful measures has already flagrantly trampled all over the Charter of the United Nations and the United Nations’ Joint Pledge for International Human Rights. The international community has already expressed serious concerns and condemnations of the Chinese government’s action. With regard to the support from the government and people of various countries for Taiwan, the Mainland Affairs Council would like to express special gratitude on behalf of the government of the Republic of China.

3. The authoritarian nature of the Chinese communist regime poses the greatest threat to the stability in the region

Although the Chinese government has repeatedly proclaimed to be placing hope on the Taiwanese people, it has from time and time contradicted itself by taking actions that brought emotional pain to the Taiwanese people. It is quite obvious that the fundamental cause of this is that the authoritarian regime lacks understanding and appreciation of freedom and democracy. It is also quite obvious that without full democratization in China, it is virtually impossible for the Chinese govenrment to fully understand Taiwan, and therefore impossible for it to cease military expansion and to renounce the use of force against Taiwan. Therefore, it will be difficult to maintain true peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

Today, in the twenty-first century, the Chinese government should earnestly realize that freedom, democracy, and human rights have become common values. It should immediately implement thorough political reforms and allow its people to enjoy the basics of freedom and democracy, thereby allow for the opportunity to peacefully resolve the cross-strait issue, and bring true peace and stability to the Asia-Pacific region. Taiwan has great hopes for the Chinese people with regards to democratization in China and everlasting cross-strait peace in the near future.

4. Peace and development remains the core of Taiwan’s cross-Strait policy

Taiwan is a responsible member of the international community, and the government of the Republic of China has also been acting responsibly through out this period. When President Chen Shui-ban assumed his second term, he pledged that the core of the cross-strait policy would be peace and development. He stated just a few days ago that “reconciliation does not mean retreating; standing firm does not mean opposing.” This is also our position in dealing with cross-strait relations. Even when the Chinese government deliberately create disturbances in the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan will maintain the principle to fulfill its responsibilities as a member of the international community, including safeguarding peace and expanding freedom, democracy, and human rights.

The Chinese government’s current insistence on promoting the “anti-separation law” is seriously damaging to the stability of cross-strait relations. In order to protect Taiwan’s national interest, the Taiwanese government is assessing the impact of the “anti-separation law” to the cross-strait relations. We will employ necessary measures to reduce the negative impact caused by the irrational actions of the Chinese government. At this point, the most important matter is that the Chinese government should sincerely apologize to the Taiwanese people for its grave mistake. And actions speak louder than words; the Taiwanese people have no interest in hearing what the Chinese government has to say, but rather in what actions it will take.