Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian's repeated proposal of staging a so-called "defensive referendum" is an extremely dangerous provocation, the Xinhua News Agency said in a commentary on Friday.
When Chen first came to power, he made a series of commitments including that he would "not promote a referendum to change the status quo in regards to the question of independence or unification," however, he has not acted in accordance with what he promised.
Now Chen is even pushing for a so-called "defensive referendum" in the island's election next year using the excuse that Taiwan is facing a "military threat" from the mainland, which further hampers the development of cross-Straits relations, the commentary said.
Having given an incompetent performance in his position, Chen is still addicted to power and tries to use every possible means to provoke confusion among the people and create tensions across the Taiwan Straits.
The mainland has shown sincerity in promoting relations during the past two decades and more, and non-government exchanges and cooperation have seen remarkable progress, but the Taiwan authorities have incessantly hindered the relationship.
Chen, in the interests of himself and his political party, tries to impose the views of a small number of independence activists on all Taiwan people even at the cost of putting everyone at risk. It is irresponsible, ignominious and immoral of Chen, as a politician, to do so.
Chen and his authorities' attempts to challenge the one-China principle are impossible and dangerous.
The people in the mainland see people in Taiwan as their compatriots of the same flesh and blood, and they ardently hope to realize the reunification of the Chinese nation through peaceful means.
But, if the Taiwan authorities and separatists collaborate to seek independence, the Chinese Government and people will spare no efforts to maintain the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of China at any cost.
(China Daily December 6, 2003)