Tiawan scraps Unification Council

NY Times:

Defying warnings from Beijing and Washington, President Chen Shui-bian of Taiwan announced late this afternoon that he was scrapping the island's council and guidelines for any political unification with mainland China.

President Chen declared in a televised address that the National Unification Council "will cease to function," and that Taiwan's national unification guidelines "will cease to apply." Aides said he would sign the necessary executive order on Tuesday.

The council has been moribund since President Chen took office in 2000, but has considerable symbolic importance. Mr. Chen promised in his first inaugural address that as long as the mainland had no intention of using military force against Taiwan, he would not undertake any of five moves toward independence, and specifically declared that "there is no question of abolishing the Guidelines for National Unification and the National Unification Council."

Mr. Chen hedged his remarks today by carefully avoiding a repetition of the Chinese term for abolishing, "fei chu," and by saying that he did not want to change existing relations across the Taiwan Straits.

"Taiwan has no intention of changing the status quo and strongly opposes its alteration by nonpeaceful means," he said in a clear reference to the mainland's buildup of ballistic missiles pointed at the island.

...

Taiwan independence is China's equivalent of cartoons of Mohammad. It makes the Chicoms crazy even though everyone knows that China is making the world pretend that Taiwan is not independent already. They just do not want anyone to say it. Hey China, your naked on this one.

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