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Beijing slams Taiwan's 'referendum on UN membership'
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China's central authorities on Saturday responded to Taiwan authority's declaration to hold a "referendum on U.N. membership in the name of Taiwan" on March 22, saying such a move could seriously disturb peace in the region.

The decision of the Taiwan authority led by Chen Shui-bian to hold the "referendum" is a significant step in its attempt to change the status quo that the Chinese mainland and Taiwan belong to one China and attain "de jure independence" of Taiwan, said the statement.

It's a referendum on "Taiwan independence" in a disguised form, said the statement released by the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council with an authorization.

Once this scheme is realized, it certainly will seriously impact relations across the Taiwan Straits, seriously harm the fundamental interests of compatriots on both sides and seriously imperil peace in the Taiwan Straits and even peace in the Asia-Pacific region, said the statement.

It said the Chinese mainland and Taiwan belong to one China. Any issues involving China's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be decided by all the 1.3 billion people of the entire China, Taiwan compatriots included.

"We pay close attention to development of this 'referendum' issue. If the authority led by Chen Shui-bian stubbornly risks danger in desperation, it will certainly pay a heavy cost," said the statement.

People on both the mainland and the island are brothers in flesh and blood and they share the same fundamental interests, the statement said.

Conflicts and disputes between the two sides of the Straits could well be solved by equal consultations in the process of peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, it said.

The statement called on Taiwan compatriots to realize the ugly intention of Chen to raise the "referendum" and its serious consequences. It emphasized that resolutely checking activities seeking "Taiwan Independence" is an essential premise to maintaining peace in the Taiwan Straits.

(Xinhua News Agency February 3, 2008)

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