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Experts: Taiwan Leader "Pawn" of Forces Against China

Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian is taking an "extremely dangerous road'' by tying the island to the war chariot of anti-China and anti-Communism forces in the United States, leading mainland experts on Taiwan affairs warned Tuesday.

"Chen has actually run into a game set by anti-China and anti-Communism forces in the United States and has become a pawn in their confrontation with China,'' said Xu Shiquan, director of the Institute of Taiwan Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

"But the real danger is that Chen himself still thinks he is the man who is running the game, although he is no more than a piece on the board.''

The expert clearly referred to the recent successive approvals by US President George W. Bush of the biggest arms sales to Taiwan to date and Chen's unprecedented transit through the United States on his way to Latin America.

"What Chen is doing greatly jeopardizes the interests of the mainstream Taiwan public and goes against their aspirations,'' Xu said.

The researcher made the comments after Chen unveiled his so-called new "five no's'' towards the mainland late Sunday night.

During his visit to Guatemala, Chen reportedly said his US stopover and the US sales of the biggest ever arms package to Taiwan were by no means provocative.

Chen said Taipei would by no means wrongly assess the cross-Straits ties and push for independence, and that Taiwan was not a chessman in a game but a man who plays the game, implying that the island was not being used by Washington against the Chinese mainland.

The other no's were that Taipei would not give up its sincerity and efforts to improve ties with Beijing, and that cross-Straits ties should not be tantamount to a "zero-sum'' game.

"Maybe there is competition between the two sides of the (Taiwan) Straits, but there must not be a war,'' Chen said.

When he took office last May, Chen said he would follow the "four no's,'' namely a pledge not to declare independence, not to change the "national title,'' not to push for "state-to-state'' relations to be included in the "constitution,'' and not to promote a referendum to change the status quo in regard to independence.

Xu, however, accused Chen of indulging in nothing more than word games and described Chen's new overture on cross-Straits ties as "empty talk.''

Chen has again revealed his penchant for playing with words by putting forward the so-called "new five no's,'' which is nothing more than putting old wine in new bottles.

'They (the new five no's) are of no real significance to the mainland at all,'' Xu said, implying that Chen has never been sincere about developing cross-Straits ties.

Xu said Chen's move is an apparent attempt to mislead world opinion and deceive the Taiwan public and is doomed to failure.

"One year after his coming to power, the leader has failed to break the stalemate facing cross-Straits. He is actually attempting to pass the buck to the mainland through his new five no's,'' Xu said.

But Chen, who is notorious for going back on his words, will find it really hard for him to win the trust of the world media, Xu said.

The best example was that Chen told American politicians and scholars during his stopover in New York that he would respect and recognize all agreements reached between the island and the mainland, but immediately qualified his statement.

On the same occasion, Chen negated his own words by denying the existence of the 1992 consensus reached between Beijing and Taipei, which commits both parties to the one-China policy, Xu said.

Professor Huang Jiashu of the Renmin University of China said the core question facing cross-Straits ties is for Chen to embrace the one-China principle and the 1992 consensus.

"There will not be any difficulty to break the current impasse in cross-Straits relations as long as the historical facts are recognized,'' Huang stressed.

The professor said Chen should come to realize the best interests of Taiwan people lie in stable cross-Straits ties, which will guarantee peace and economic development on both sides.

(Chinadaily.com.cn 05/30/2001)

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