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KMT may not reverse law on peace pact referendum: chairman

2019/02/20 19:09:30

Kuomintang Chairman Wu Den-yi (吳敦義)

Taipei, Feb. 20 (CNA) Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yi (吳敦義) said Wednesday that if his party regains power it will not necessarily overturn a proposed law amendment that would allow a referendum on whether Taiwan should sign a peace agreement with China, if the Taiwan people support such a referendum.

Wu's remarks came after the Cabinet said Monday that among 47 priority bills submitted this month to the Legislature was an amendment to allow a referendum on a proposal put forward by Wu on Feb. 14 to sign a peace agreement with China if the KMT returns to power in 2020.

In a radio interview Wednesday, Wu said the peace agreement would not compromise Taiwan's national dignity and sovereignty.

"I'll only sign it to secure peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait, under the premise that Taiwan's sovereignty would be fully protected," he said.

Since he put forth the proposal, pro-independence groups and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have been criticizing it fiercely.

Meanwhile DPP spokesman Chou Chiang-chieh (周江杰) said that such an agreement would amount to "raising a white flag" to Beijing and it was bound to fail.

"Any peace agreement that is signed under threat by an enemy means surrender," Chou said in a statement.

Wu, however, said that was not the case.

"It's definitely not a pact of surrender to China, and I hope the DPP will not engage in a smear campaign against it," he said. "It is a good thing, and we won't change our position so readily."

Regarding the DPP's proposed law amendment to require a referendum on the issue, Wu said that "if such an amendment is backed by the vast majority of the people in Taiwan, the KMT will not necessarily try to change it back, if the party regains power."

Asked whether the proposed law amendment was targeting him, Wu said that former Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-ping (王金平) and former KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) had also made a similar suggestion.

Taiwan and China have signed 23 agreements to date, Wu pointed out.

According to Chou, however, a peace agreement with China will be counter to Taiwan's democratic values and will compromise its sovereignty.

Chou asked Wang and former New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), who are both likely to seek the KMT's nomination as its 2020 presidential candidate, to clearly state whether they share Wu's views on the cross-strait peace accord.

The KMT hopefuls for the 2020 presidential race are all trying to please Beijing by offering to sign a peace pact with China, Chou said.

"How can those candidates prevent Taiwan from being swallowed up by Beijing?" he said.

(By Yu Hsiang and Flor Wang)