"China is planning to enact an anti-secession law in its upcoming National People's Congress meeting. This is a blatant and unilateral attempt to undermine cross-strait relations," Chen told his audience in Brussels, which included Graham Watson, chairman of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament, and George Jarzembowski, president of the Taiwan Council of the European Parliament.The question is whether or not the pleas will reach the right ears. The European Union member states have not demonstrated a concern of late for the circumstances of the Taiwan Straits. President Bush has already expressed his skepticism of the wisdom of lifting the arms sales ban. I don't believe for a moment that President Chirac will listen to the leader of a small state with no legal status any more than he will listen to the leader of the hyperpuissance, but I hope to proven wrong.
Touching on issues concerning the nation's constitutional reform, Chen made a reference to his meeting with People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (???) last Thursday, during which a 10-point join consensus was signed.
The consensus, that included Chen's reiteration that he will not promote Taiwan's independence or change the country's official name during his term in office, had irked many pan-green supporters.
"I have to be honest with myself as well as with others," Chen said.
"During my term in office I can't change the nation's official name from Republic of China (ROC) to Republic of Taiwan. If I can't do it, I can't do it," Chen said. "Former president Lee Teng-hui (???) was unable to do so during his terms in office and I believe even if he was the incumbent president, he wouldn't be able do it either."
Aidan White, general-secretary of the Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists, Willem van der Geest, director of the European Institute for Asian Studies, were among those taking part in the teleconference, which lasted about an hour and a half.
By Bruce on Thursday, March 03, 2005
Taipei Times reports that President Chen Shui-bian participated in a videoconference members of the European Parliament to make his case against the lifting of the ban on sales of military equipment to the People's Republic of China.