The Chinese mainland yesterday warned Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian of serious consequences for his reckless push for "independence" and condemned him as a "schemer" and "national traitor".
"If Chen Shui-bian obstinately and recklessly makes dangerous moves regardless of warnings and denouncements of the international community, he must shoulder 'all serious consequences' arising from this," said Li Weiyi, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.
Li told a regular press conference that Chen is "an out-and-out schemer" and "a destroyer" who will not hesitate to ruin peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and in the Asia-Pacific region.
His criticism came in response to Taipei's intensified push for UN membership.
Chen sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in July, seeking to join the United Nations under the name of Taiwan, which was refused. His second letter to Sheikha Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa, president of the 61st United Nations General Assembly, was also returned on Monday.
Meanwhile, Chen has been pushing for a plan to hold a "referendum" in Taiwan on its proposed entry to the UN.
Li said Chen "blatantly launched provocations to seek 'Taiwan independence' prior to the island's 'presidential election' next year to seek personal gains for himself and his own party, but totally regardless of the interests of 23 million Taiwan compatriots".
"There is only one China in the world and both Taiwan and the Chinese mainland belong to one China. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of China brook no separation," Li said.
This fact cannot be altered no matter what "independence" speeches Chen trumpets, he said.
Li called Chen "a national traitor who plots to split the country", and said "he cannot escape the punishment of history".
On discussions over the route of the 2008 Olympic torch relay through the island, Li denied reports that the mainland has added a new condition.
"As far as I know, the Organizing Committee for the Beijing Olympic Games (BOCOG) has not added any new condition regarding the Olympic torch relay passing through Taiwan," he told the reporters.
Some Taiwan media reported that the mainland had added a new condition during negotiations - that the flag of the Taiwan authority should not be displayed while the torch is present on the island.
"The International Olympic Committee has clear rules on how to deal with the flag issue at the Games. Anyone can take it for granted that the torch relay through Taiwan should also follow these rules," Li said.
The issue was included in the consensus reached between BOCOG and the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) in February this year, he said.
"We still hope the Taiwan authorities take into account the true expectations of the people that the Olympic torch be carried across the Taiwan Straits and stop creating barriers driven by politics," Li said.
He urged the Taiwan authorities to adopt the consensus reached in February.
"BOCOG and CTOC will continue talks on the torch relay," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency September 13, 2007)