Wednesday, October 22, 2003

President Lien?

There are some interesting things happening in Taiwan, which is soon to have a Presidential election:

The front-runner in Taiwan's presidential race accused his government Monday of trying to provoke China by demanding a decision on independence.

Lien Chan, leader of the Nationalist Party, said unification with China should come "one day, but ... first of all we insist on the maintenance of status quo."

Taiwan should not create a new crisis in Asia when the United States already has "its hands full" with problems in Iraq, North Korea and the war on terrorism, he said. The best way to do this is "do not try to needle or to provoke unnecessarily the other side."

Chinese leaders insist that Taiwan belongs to China, though the self-governed, democratic island has never been ruled by Beijing's Communist Party government. A civil war separated the two sides in 1949, and China has threatened to use its massive military to force Taiwan to unify.

Lien, who leads President Chen Shui-bian in opinion polls, spoke to a small group of United Nations-based reporters over the weekend before heading to Washington for a series of meetings and speeches, including one at the National Press Club on Tuesday.

It is interesting to note that Lien states that unification with China will happen at some point, albeit not anytime soon. It is also interesting that Lien thinks that Taiwan should not be thumbing its nose at China right now, since the US is busy with Iraq, North Korea, and the war on terror. At least Lien is taking this in to account, as opposed to Chen, who has recently said he won't be bothered with US interests.


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