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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues the following solemn statement: the government of the Republic of China...
Date: 2004/01/27    Data Source: 公眾外交協調會
Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China, is undertaking a state visit to France between January 26 and January 29, 2004. Remarks made by the French President Jacques Chirac at the banquet held in honor of President Hu on January 26, the contents of the joint statement signed by both presidents and in the press conference afterwards on the morning of January 27, demonstrated the French opposition to the referendum to be held in Taiwan on March 20. In regard to this matter, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs solemnly makes the following statement:
1. An independent sovereign democracy, the Republic of China is scheduled to hold a referendum on March 20, 2004. The referendum will be the most significant milestone in Taiwan’s process of democratization, in which the governments of other countries have no rights to intervene.
2. The French Republic is one of the world’s great democracies. It not only established the basis for western democracy, but also gave birth to a democratic tradition that has long been praised throughout the world. Furthermore, since the establishment of the Fifth Republic in 1958, France has conducted nine referendums on the significant internal and external issues of its own. The referendum to be held in Taiwan on this March 20, will be a concrete measure simply to deepen the process of our democratization. It is not intended to alter the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, nor is it for the pursuit of independence. Envisaging the fact that the French government included wording in the joint statement to oppose our holding a referendum, this Ministry feels deeply regretting and solemnly expresses its strong displeasure with the French government.
3. The PRC government, by its diehard militant nature, has pressured the French government, urging it to ignore the universal value of democracy and to publicly oppose Taiwan’s holding a referendum. This Ministry strongly protests against the PRC government for attempting to further intervene in our process of deepening democracy so as to influence our presidential election. Time and again the PRC tried to oppress Taiwan internationally by manipulating other countries. Such behavior has not only severely hurt the feelings of the 23 million people in Taiwan, but has also seriously hindered future cross-Strait interaction and exchanges. For this outcome the PRC must take full responsibility.
4. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs once again solemnly calls upon the PRC to respect the basic human rights of the 23 million people of Taiwan as well as their space in the international community; to stop oppressing Taiwan in the global arena; to immediately remove the missiles it has targeted at Taiwan; and to renounce its use of force against Taiwan in order to maintain peace and security in the Taiwan Strait and in the Asia-Pacific region.