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Dr. Tan-sun Chen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the ROC, Makes Remarks on the Effects of Anti-Separation Law on Regional Security. GIO News Release, 07/01/2005)

Published: January 7, 2005 Minister Lin of the Government Information Office; Chairman Wu of the Mainland Affairs Council; Vice Minister Tsai of the Ministry of National Defense; Friends from the Media: Good Afternoon! I would like to first of all take this early opportunity to wish everyone a happy lunar New Year. I wish you all a prosperous New Year and every success. It is a pleasure for me to be here to talk to you about my views on the PRC's enactment of its Anti-separation Law. On December 17 last year, the People's Republic of China announced its plan to enact this Anti-separation Law. This movement not only threatens the peaceful development of the cross-Strait relations, but also unilaterally changes the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. The international community should pay much more attention to this matter. Basically, the Anti-separation Law is based on three fictions: First, the fictitious "One China Principle": as we all know, since the establishment of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in Beijing in 1949, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have not been subordinated to each other for more than fifty-five years. According to the elements of international law on what constitutes a country, the principles governing jurisdiction, and the power-to-the-people belief held by democratic societies, the ROC (Taiwan)'s sovereignty clearly resides with the twenty-three million people of Taiwan; it is not under the rule of the PRC. Since unification is not the status quo of cross-Strait relations, there should be no room for the so-called "one China principle"; naturally, there is no legal ground to enact an Anti-separation law. Second, the fictitious "domestic issues": the PRC's unilateral enactment of the law bases itself on the fiction that cross-Strait issues are internal issues. However, the status of Taiwan is anything but the so-called "domestic issues." For instance, the Taiwan Relations Act clearly states that "any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means is a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area." In addition, other countries in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe also have been advocating a peaceful solution to the cross-strait problem. These facts show that the status of Taiwan is a concern shared by the international community, instead of a domestic issue of the PRC. The PRC, therefore, has no right to take unilateral action in this regard. Third, the fictitious "peaceful unification": despite the fact that the PRC has publicly and repeatedly called for peaceful unification, its defense budget has witnessed double-digit growths for years; it has deployed more than 600 missiles along its southeastern coast against Taiwan; and it has constantly conducted military exercises with specific aims. As official reports of the United States, Japan and other countries have proved once and again, the PRC military modernization goals are against Taiwan. If we look at the military preparation of the PRC and the non-peaceful means suggested by the Anti-separation Law, the PRC's real intention is to create a legal basis for military invasion of Taiwan. The word "peace" is nothing more than a false impression. The PRC's unilateral enactment of the Anti-separation Law aims to monopolize the right to interpret the status quo of the Taiwan Strait. Their threat to use force against Taiwan jeopardizes regional security and affects the interests of neighboring countries. The PRC, by exerting pressures to influence the freedom of choice of the people of Taiwan, has directly challenged the mainstream values of democracy and human rights and undermined the accomplishment of democracy in Asia. Looking back at history, when Nazi Germany propagated "Natural Boundaries," the appeasement adopted by the international community eventually led to the Second World War. With the bitter memories still afresh, I urge the international community to jointly prevent the PRC from taking unilateral change to the status quo in the Taiwan Strait and to ensure peace and democracy in the Asia-Pacific region. After the Asian Tsunami disaster, both sides of the Taiwan Strait have actively participated in humanitarian relief efforts. This shows that if the PRC could abandon its "zero-sum" wishful thinking and allow the two sides to act as equals on the world stage and cooperate, it would be good news for not just the peoples of both sides of the Taiwan Strait, but for all peoples in the world. At the beginning of a new year, I would like to invite the distinguished guests and friends from the media to join us as we pray for the victims in South Asia. Let me conclude my remarks by this prayer. Thank you.