'We hope for peace, stability in Taiwan'
By Xing Zhigang (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-09-14 06:39

A mainland official expressed hope yesterday that Taiwan compatriots live in peace and contentment and enjoy social stability amid massive protests seeking to oust the island's leader Chen Shui-bian.

taiwan, chen shui-bian, protest, taipei
Protesters shout slogans and give thumbs down to Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian during the fourth day of a sit-in aimed to oust Chen in front of Chen's office in Taipei, September 12, 2006. In a reprieve from the heavy rains, protesters continue an open-ended sit-in campaign to oust Chen over corruption allegations against his family. [AP Photo]

"Taiwan compatriots are our flesh and blood," said Li Weiyi, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

"We do not want to see any unfortunate events occur," Li said, without directly referring to the anti-Chen protests on the island.

Chinese people on mainland, together with Taiwan compatriots, will continue to strongly oppose "Taiwan independence" forces, while maintaining cross-Straits peace and stability and pushing for improved ties, Li told a news briefing.

The mass protest against Chen started on Saturday when more than 300,000 people took to the streets in Taipei to voice their contempt for Chen and his family members, who are accused of taking bribes and influence peddling.

At yesterday's briefing, Li warned of an intensified secessionist push by Chen during the rest of his term to woo diehard pro-independence forces.

The warning follows the island's failure in its bid to become a United Nations member for the 14th year.

The embattled Taiwan leader, under mounting pressure to resign amid a series of corruption scandals, has vowed to push for Taiwan's admission to the UN and write a new "constitution" for the island before his term ends in May 2008.

Li said Taiwan's latest application for UN membership is a "new and dangerous" step taken by Chen along the secessionist path.

"It further exposes his sinister motive to speed up secessionist activities."

The UN General Assembly's General Committee on Tuesday decided not to put the Taiwan issue on the meeting's agenda, turning down a request from some of the island's allies.

Since 1993, Taiwan has launched an annual bid to join the world body composed of sovereign states.

Li said the UN's rejection demonstrates that the majority of UN members believe there is only one China, and Taiwan, as part of China, is not qualified to join the UN in any name or through any means.

Li also denounced Chen's attempt to pursue "de jure independence" through so-called "constitutional reform."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang also issued a statement yesterday, welcoming the UN's rejection of Taiwan's "representation" proposal.

Qin urged the Taiwan authorities and a small number of countries instigated by the island to follow the trend of history and stop all secessionist activities.

A resolution adopted in 1971 at the 26th UN General Assembly, granted the People's Republic of China full legal status in the United Nations.

(China Daily 09/14/2006 page1)


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