Chen Should Gives up "Taiwan Independence" Stance: HK Newspaper

Hong Kong newspapers issued editorials Friday, criticizing Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian's pro-independence "inauguration speech" made Thursday.

Some Hong Kong newspapers said though Chen Shui-bian made a low-key speech, he did not admit one-China principle and did not give up the "Taiwan independence" stance, which will bring about unstable and unclear prospects for the cross-Straits relations.

Hong Kong Wen Wei Po said in its editorial Friday that Chen's oral promise is not convincing. Four years ago, he pledged himself to the so-called "five no's" policy. However, he broke his promise by whipping up separatist forces for "Taiwan independence" activities. For a man of failing to keep faith, how can others believe in his "sincerity" in his speech.

Ta Kung Pao said in its editorial that Chen is a crafty politician good at playing with words. Though he did not dare to claim "one country on each side," he made some hints foreshadowing "Taiwan independence" development in the next four years.

Chen substituted "constitutional amendment" for the description of writing a new constitution, claiming the amendment would not deal with "issues on national sovereign right, national territory" and other issues.

Singtao Daily said the disguised content of Chen's speech is still "Taiwan independence" oriented. For instance, Taiwan attempted to become a member of the World Health Organization, and described the cross-Strait relations in accordance with the "one country on each side" stance.

The daily said as for the "constitutional amendment," it is expected to pave the way for practicing "Taiwan independence" in a gradual manner.

Hong Kong Commercial Daily said all evidence shows Chen would stick to his "Taiwan independence" position. It is obvious that the cross-Straits situation would not be stable and that the prospect for the cross-Straits relations has caused anxiety among the public.

The daily said to most peace- and stability-loving Taiwan people, it is high time to act firmly against Chen's "Taiwan independence" stance, firmly stop Chen's "Taiwan independence" activities, and push ahead with the great cause of reunification of the motherland with Chinese mainland people. Only by doing so, can Taiwan avert disasters which may be caused by "Taiwan independence" activities, the paper said.

(Xinhua News Agency May 22, 2004)