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Chen's Pro-independence Statements Denounced Overseas
Chinese Americans Condemn Chen's Pro-independence Statements

Leading figures from Chinese American communities in the United States western state of California have strongly condemned the pro-independence statements by Taiwan leader, Chen Shui-bian.

On Saturday, in a speech to an overseas Taiwanese association in Tokyo, Japan, Chen called for a referendum on Taiwan's future and destiny on an appropriate occasion, and stated that "each side is a country."

Chen's comments were "ridiculous because they clearly violated the current Taiwan constitution that Chen inherited when he took power two years ago, which clearly supports the island's reunification with the mainland," said Wang Chung, Executive Director of the Institute of Sino Strategic Studies, based in Los Angeles.

Wang, who came from Taiwan, noted that Chen had actually been consistent in promoting Taiwan's independence, although in the past he dared not state his stance so clearly in public.

Wang said that Chen's pro-independence stance was doomed to failure because it ran against the irresistible trend of peaceful reunification of China.

Wei Hongli, Chairman of the Northern California Council for the Promotion of China's Peaceful Reunification, warned that an independence campaign would push Taiwan into disaster and victimize the well-being of more than 23 million people in Taiwan.

Lilia Huiying Li, President of the nonprofit peace forum, China Seminar, issued a strongly worded statement in Los Angeles, warning that Chen's pro-independence acts could endanger the safety of all Taiwanese.

Chen's Fallacy of 'Each Side Is a Country' Condemned in New Zealand

The New Zealand Wellington Association for Promoting Peaceful Reunification of China condemned Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian's fallacy of "each side is a country" as an open advocacy of Taiwan independence.

The association said in a statement Monday that the demand for a referendum to decide the future and destiny of Taiwan, made by Chen on Saturday, is a clear indication that he is brazenly promoting the independence of Taiwan.

It also criticized Chen's predecessor Lee Teng-hui who preached on the same day that Taiwan builds a country independently.

The association said the 23 million Taiwan compatriots and the 1.2 billion people in the mainland and the overseas Chinese as well utterly detest and refute any advocacy of Taiwan independence.

It warned Chen Shui-bian not to play with fire, saying he has no reason to demand a referendum on the future and destiny of Taiwan that has been part of China's territory since ancient times.

The association expressed the belief that Chen's attempt to materialize Taiwan independence by advocating a referendum is doomed to failure.

(Edited from People's Daily, August 6, 2002)

Referendum of Taiwan Independence Criticized
Taiwan Leader's 'Independence' Remarks Rebuked in HK, Macao
Independence Threat Undermines Cross-Straits Ties
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