View Full Version : Taiwan Condemns China Law, Warns It Must Pay Price

14-03-05, 04:59
TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan warned arch-foe China on Monday it would have to pay a price for an anti-secession law that has sparked an angry reaction on the island and raised alarm bells from Tokyo to Washington.

China's parliament passed the anti-secession bill earlier on Monday, mandating the use of military force against Taiwan if the self-ruled island formally declares statehood.

"The anti-secession law is a law that authorizes war," Taiwan's cabinet spokesman Cho Jung-tai told reporters.

"It has caused resentment in Taiwan and opposition in the international community. China has to bear the responsibility and pay a price for this law," Cho said.

Premier Frank Hsieh will review the island's economic and trade policies with the mainland during a meeting later on Monday, Cho added, but gave no details.

The White House has asked Beijing to reconsider the law and Japan said it could negatively impact stability in the region.

Taiwan and China have been rivals since 1949 when the Nationalists lost a civil war and fled to the island. But trade, investment and tourism have boomed since the late 1980s.

Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, which formulates policy toward Beijing, is set to give the government's official reaction at 4 p.m. (0800 GMT).

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao defended the law, which stipulates that China would only resort to "non-peaceful" means against Taiwan as a last resort, saying it is not a law of war but is aimed at containing independence forces in Taiwan.

China hopes the legislation, approved in a near unanimous vote to a lengthy ovation from lawmakers, will deter Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian from pushing for independence during his second and final term that ends in 2008, analysts say. The law could ratchet up tension in one of the most dangerous flash points in Asia. Chen has denounced it as a threat to regional security and sought to rally Taiwan against it.

"The anti-secession law is a serious insult to the Taiwan people. It treats Taiwan as a piece of meat on the chopping board," said Tang Huo-shen, a lawmaker from Chen's pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

"The people of Taiwan will fight for peace to the very end," another DPP lawmaker Lai Ching-te said.

Lawmakers from the main opposition Nationalist Party, which is more conciliatory toward the mainland, also said they were angry and sorry over the Chinese law.