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'Reform' Drafts Tied to Chen Shui-bian
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A mainland official yesterday accused Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party of being behind the "constitutional reform" drafts proposed by secessionists on the island.

"Chen Shui-bian's conspiracy seeking 'de jure Taiwan independence' through 'constitutional reform' in the name of public opinion will not succeed," said Yang Yi, spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

Yang said some Taiwan secessionist organizations and individuals had come up with drafts for so-called "constitutional reform" aimed at "Taiwan independence", including the amendment of the "national title, flag and territory".

Chen and the Taiwan secessionist forces are working through unofficial organizations, getting them to put up drafts in favor of "de jure Taiwan independence" in an attempt to influence public opinion, Yang told a regular press briefing.

He also said Lien Chan, honorary chairman of Taiwan's leading opposition party Kuomintang (KMT), would head a KMT delegation to attend the third cross-Straits economic, trade and cultural forum scheduled for April 28-29 in Beijing.

He said representatives from the two sides would exchange views on topics of common concern, including direct flights, education and tourism.

"We hope this forum will further promote cross-Straits economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation and push cross-Straits relations towards peace and stability," he said.

Lien will also attend a worship ceremony at the hometown of the Yellow Emperor, the ancestor of the Han people, in Central China's Henan Province at the invitation of the Henan Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, Yang said.

This will be the fourth visit by Lien Chan to the mainland since his first in April 2005, when he met Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.

Asked whether Wu Poh-hsiung, the new KMT chairman, who was sworn in yesterday, would also take part in the forum, Yang said that the list of people present at the forum was still under discussion.

Wu was elected on Saturday after former KMT chairman Ma Ying-jeou resigned in the wake of an indictment on corruption charges.

Wu had reportedly been planning to visit the mainland by the end of this month.

Yang also announced that a national Taiwan-funded Enterprises Association would be officially founded in Beijing on Monday.

Yang said Taiwan businessmen on the mainland had voluntarily launched the non-profit association. Its goal is to provide services for member companies, protect their legal rights and promote cross-Straits economic exchanges and cooperation.

The mainland has approved more than 70,000 ventures in which Taiwan business people had invested $44 billion by the end of last year.

(Xinhua News Agency April 12, 2007)

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