He claims PFP chairman James Soong denied Taiwanese a choice by saying independence wasn't an option Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian yesterday came under fire from both foes and allies after rebuking the opposition for its stance towards Beijing on Sunday night. The remarks - seen as a bid to quell anger in the pro-independence camp over his 'soft' stance towards the opposition - have triggered protests by the People First Party (PFP), the Kuomintang and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU). Mr Chen accused PFP chairman James Soong Chu-yu of depriving Taiwan's 23 million people of a choice by saying in Shanghai that independence was not an option for the island. He also criticised KMT chairman Lien Chan's description of his mainland trip as an attempt to 'join hands with the communists to curb Taiwan independence', saying this was the 'biggest failure' of the visit. Citing intelligence information, Mr Chen claimed Mr Soong had met the director of Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office, Chen Yunlin , in the US in February, during which he discussed the PFP's opposition to changes to Taiwan's constitution by referendum. He also said the referendum issue was at the heart of Beijing's invitation for Mr Lien and Mr Soong to visit the mainland. But PFP legislative caucus leader Lee Yung-ping said: 'What Chen Shui-bian said was outrageously questionable. It was a serious misquote.' She pointed out that Mr Chen agreed to sign a 10-point consensus on cross-strait reconciliation with the PFP leader in late February, given the alleged discussion between Mr Soong and the TAO director was to have taken place in early February. She also said Mr Chen was being illogical when claiming Beijing invited the leaders to visit because it wanted them to oppose the referendum clause. 'The KMT does not oppose the incorporation of referendums in the constitution.' KMT spokesman Chang Jung-kung said Mr Chen, faced with pressure from pro-independence supporters and the possibility of his Democratic Progressive Party losing this weekend's National Assembly elections, 'uses the same trick again to try to smear the opposition'. Even the pro-independence TSU said Mr Chen was being 'shameless' by claiming he was a 'son of Taiwan', saying the statement was merely aimed at winning sympathy votes. On Sunday, Mr Chen mocked the TSU's spiritual leader, former president Lee Teng-hui, for trying to win the Nobel Peace Prize by claiming he was the 'father' of Taiwanese democracy. Mr Chen said he did not want to be the 'father of Taiwan' - just the 'son of Taiwan'. He also criticised the TSU for backing down on the constitutional amendment. Last night, he continued to pour scorn on Mr Lee, saying Mr Lee had no respect for him. 'He should know his position now that he is no longer the president,' he said.