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MAC Vice Chairman Tai-san Chiu Comments on the Anti-Separation Law at a Regular Press Briefing. (MAC News Briefing No. 0421, 24/12/2004)

Subjects:´Anti-Separation Law Proposed by China Will Endanger Security in the
Asia-Pacific Region

´NPC Standing Committee Will Deliberate on Anti-Separation Law on December 25

´US Expects Taiwanese People to Be Aware That They Need to Have the Determination for Self-Defense

´Mainland Chinese Authorities Are Sincerely Advised to Face up to the Effects of the Anti-Separation Law on Taiwan, the Asia-Pacific Region, and the International Community

MAC Regular Press Briefing

Briefer : Tai-san Chiu, Vice Chairman

Date : December 24, 2004

Location : Taipei

STATEMENT & ANNOUNCEMENT

VICE CHAIRMAN CHIU: According to the results of the most recent public survey conducted by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on the proposal of China to enact an Anti-Separation Law, which will serve as a legitimate excuse for its use of force against Taiwan in the future, nearly 83% of the Taiwanese people express disapproval of such a proposal. At the same time, this public survey also reflects that since China’s proposal of an Anti-Separation Law, there has been an evident increase in the Taiwanese people’s perception of China’s hostility.

The public survey was entrusted by the MAC and was conducted between December 21 and 23, 2004. The results show that the people have expressed a clear and definite opinion about the Anti-Separation Law proposed by the Chinese authorities; a total of 73% of the public expressed that this is unacceptable. At the same time, this has caused a clearly increasing perception of China’s hostility among the Taiwanese people. Compared with the survey in July this year, the proportion of people perceiving China’s hostility toward the Taiwan Government has increased by 9%; perceived China’s hostility toward the Taiwanese people increased by 6%. In the wake of the conclusion of Taiwan’s 2004 legislative election and the announcement of China to enact an Anti-Separation Law, this survey result significantly serves as an important indicator.

This public survey has been the first one conducted after the 2004 legislative election in Taiwan. On the issue of unification vs. independence, still a majority of the respondents (86.8%) advocate maintaining the status quo defined in a broad sense. This also indicates that there has not been a change in the structure of the Taiwanese people’s opinion on this issue after the legislative election on December 11, 2004. As for the “one country, two systems” advocated by China, 75% of the respondents express disapproval, which is consistent with the trend of the public surveys previosuly conducted by the MAC.

With regard to the lunar new year chartered flights, which have become an issue of concern in various sectors, the public survey shows that 75.2% of the public agree with the Government’s proposal of chartered flights that “are two-way, reciprocal, and do not stopover in a third location,” while 65.2% of the respondents cannot accept China’s proposal that the lunar new year chartered flights may proceed only under the precondition that they will be treated as internal affairs of China.

The present survey shows that 84.2% of the people are strongly in favor of the Government’s push for the establishment of a Peace and Stability Framework for Cross-Strait Interactions, while 70.1% of the public are also in favor of President Chen Shui-bian’s proposal to establish a Committee for Cross-Strait Peace and Development to integrate the views and consensus of the various sectors on cross-strait development.
The survey was conducted from December 21 to 23, 2004 through a telephone survey of Taiwanese adults over the age of 20 in the Taiwan area. A total of 1,067 valid samples were collected. Within the 95% confidence interval, sampling error is approximately 3%.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Anti-Separation Law Proposed by China Will Endanger Security in the Asia-Pacific Region

QUESTION: What effects will the enactment of an Anti-Separation Law by China have on cross-strait relations?

VICE CHAIRMAN CHIU: The results of the present public survey conducted by the MAC show that the majority (86.8%) of the Taiwanese people still favor maintaining the status quo defined in a broad sense with regard to the issue on unification vs. independence, while 75% of them are not in favor of the “one country, two systems” advocated by China, which matches the trend in recent surveys. China’s proposal to enact an Anti-Separation Law will indeed cause both sides of the Strait to drift further apart from each other since it will constitute a significant threat to the Taiwanese businessmen in China and the Taiwanese people. The international community also believes that China’s enactment of such a law would harm the security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.

NPC Standing Committee Will Deliberate on Anti-Separation Law on December 25

QUESTION: What information does the MAC have on the Anti-Separation Law?

VICE CHAIRMAN CHIU: As for now, China has not publicized the concrete stipulations contained in the Anti-Separation Law. A total of twenty (20) bills have been included in the agenda for deliberation by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) tomorrow, December 25. The Anti-Separation Law is item no. 7 on the list. Moreover, based on our understanding, the other bills were proposed by the State Council, but the Anti-Separation Law was a proposal by the NPC Standing Committee.

NPC Standing Committee Will Deliberate on Anti-Separation Law on December 25

QUESTION: What is the assessment of the MAC on the proposed strategy of the Anti-Separation Law?

VICE CHAIRMAN CHIU: Based on our judgment, China’s enactment of an Anti-Separation Law is considered a form of legal warfare, one of the “three warfares,” namely, legal warfare, psychological warfare, and media warfare. In earlier days, China has made a considerable degree of discussion on legal warfare. It was in 2004 when official statements were released. However, it was only very recently that the specific contents and the legislative project were proposed.

US Expects Taiwanese People to Be Aware That They Need to Have the Determination for Self-Defense

QUESTION: US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Lee Armitage stated a few days ago that the US would not necessarily assist in the defense of Taiwan. What is the MAC’s opinion?

VICE CHAIRMAN CHIU:
■ The US cross-Strait policy is founded on their “one China policy,” and it is advocated that both sides of the Taiwan Strait must not unilaterally change the status quo. China’s military expansion has not only created more tension in cross-strait relations, but has also affected the Asia-Pacific region.

■ The US is also significantly concerned about whether or not we have the determination for self-defense. The US feels that the Taiwanese people seem to take it for granted that the US would be there to protect Taiwan under any circumstances. Therefore, the US believes that there is a need to make Taiwan understand that if Taiwan does not have the determination for self-defense, US assistance would also be called in question.

Mainland Chinese Authorities Are Sincerely Advised to Face Up to the Effects of the Anti-Separation Law on Taiwan, the Asia-Pacific Region, and the International Community

QUESTION: What is the response of the MAC toward China’s proposal to enact an Anti-Separation Law?

VICE CHAIRMAN CHIU: We sincerely advise the mainland Chinese authorities that the enactment of this law affects not only Taiwan, but also the Asia-Pacific region and the international community. The international community believes that the enactment of this law will affect the security in the Asia-Pacific region.