Hu Jintao

Taiwanese concerns over 'peace' document

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 March, 2007, 12:00am


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Government says KMT cannot go it alone in signing accord with Beijing

The Taiwanese government is concerned about an opposition plan to sign a so-called 'peace' document with the mainland despite Beijing's growing military preparedness.

Insisting that the government of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party would have the last say on any formal agreement, Mainland Affairs Council chairman Joseph Wu Jau-shieh said yesterday that the Kuomintang could not replace the government in signing such a document.

'The government is the sole institution to handle foreign and other policies. While other civilian groups can help and work with the government, they can never take over the government role or fight against the government,' he said at a seminar in Taipei.

His comments came after media reports that KMT honorary chairman Lien Chan would visit the mainland next month and sign a 'peace' document with President Hu Jintao during a meeting in Beijing.

Chang Jung-kung, director of the KMT's mainland affairs department, yesterday confirmed Mr Lien's mainland visit, but declined to say whether he would sign a 'peace' document with Mr Hu.

Mr Wu said the affairs council, the island's top mainland policy planning body, was paying attention to Mr Lien's planned visit and the reported 'peace' document.

Mr Lien reportedly plans to meet Mr Hu for a third time during an economic forum in Beijing and sign the 'peace' document.

Mr Wu said that after the mainland enacted the Anti-Secession Law two years ago to give the People's Liberation Army the power to attack Taiwan should it declare independence, Taiwanese had become suspicious about exchanges between the KMT and the Communist Party, especially when the opposition had refused to reveal details of its contacts and exchanges during their first meeting in 2005.

He called on the KMT to work with the island's government in helping to forge cross-strait peace rather than sidelining it.

Mr Lien, who resigned as KMT chairman in August 2005, made history with his unprecedented visit to the mainland and meeting with Mr Hu earlier that year. The two parties agreed to meet regularly to find ways to ease the cross-strait stalemate.

Meanwhile, Taiwanese Defence Minister Admiral Lee Jye said the island's security would be in 'irreparable jeopardy' if no action was taken to beef up its combat readiness.

At a meeting of the legislature's defence committee yesterday, he said the mainland military had conducted more than 30 war games simulating an attack on Taiwan last year.

'According to our intelligence, results of these war games showed that the communist forces are now capable of staging faster 'triphibian', or three-dimensional, landing assaults against us,' he said.

He also noted that Taiwan was under 'round-the-clock' and 'all-weather' mainland surveillance. More than 20 satellites had been launched to gather military intelligence and other information about the island.

Admiral Lee said the PLA was building aircraft carriers with the aim of attacking Taiwan.