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Roundup: Taiwan referendum plan rapped by Chinese in U.S., Italy, Brazil
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08:35, September 17, 2007

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Overseas Chinese have been for days lashing out at the leader of the Taiwan authorities, Chen Shui-bian, over his attempt to seek United Nations membership for the island through a referendum.

The Chinese community in Washington has sent a letter to the U.S. Congress to affirm their support for the government to continue observing the "one-China" policy regardless of the Taiwan authorities' bid for UN membership in the name of Taiwan via a referendum.

In the letter obtained by Xinhua Sunday, the Alliance for China's Peaceful Reunification in Washington said that the Taiwan authorities' insistence on a referendum for UN membership, despite repeated warnings by the U.S. government, is a very risky move.

By holding a referendum, the Taiwan authorities are attempting to split the island from China's territory, which is an unscrupulous provocation against the "one-China" policy that the U.S. government observes, the letter said.

The alliance said that the attempt would constitute a severe threat to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the world, and also harm the United States' national interests.

The alliance is planning to hold a conference in November in Washington, the "Forum on Promotion of Chinese Peace Reunification Worldwide," where activists, experts and scholars from both China and the U.S. will discuss how the referendum will harm relations between the U.S. and China, as well as between Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

In Los Angeles, Chinese community leaders held a meeting Saturday voicing opposition to any secessionist activity by the Taiwan authorities.

The leaders said such a move is a step toward independence from China and would risk further tensions and even a war between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

Leaders of Chinese American groups and representatives of the Chinese community said at the meeting that they firmly support the U.S. government's one-China policy and its stance on the referendum issue.

Senior U.S. officials have recently reiterated their opposition to Taiwan's referendum plan and stepped up pressure on the leader of the Taiwan authorities, Chen Shui-bian, to drop the proposal. Washington saw the move as a step toward a declaration of "Taiwan independence," which would enrage the mainland and thus endanger the island's security.

In a joint statement read out at the meeting, the Chinese community leaders urged the Taiwan authorities to stop the referendum effort and any activities toward "Taiwan independence," and called on people in Taiwan to make an intelligent judgment in their own interests.

They accused Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party of disregarding the interests of Taiwan's 23 million residents, and using the referendum plan to increase voter appeal in the island's elections next year.

"A referendum in Taiwan, which would be manipulated by the Taiwan authorities, is illegitimate, as the future of Taiwan should be decided by all 1.5 billion Chinese people," said Lisa Jiang, rotating chairperson of the Southern California Federation for China's Peaceful Reunification, an umbrella organization of Chinese American groups in the region with members originating from both Taiwan and the Chinese mainland.

Speakers at the meeting said that overseas Chinese, including those living in the United States, who mostly want to see a unified China, are ready to support any action by the mainland to crush the Taiwan authorities' independence scheme and safeguard the nation's territorial integrity.

In Italy, hundreds of overseas Chinese met in the central city Prato to launch a movement for China's reunification and against "Taiwan independence."

They said it is the common desire and fundamental interest of Chinese all over the world to realize the reunification of China and maintain stability across the Taiwan Strait.

Zheng Xianjie, deputy chief of the Prato Overseas Chinese Association, said the movement intended to unify overseas Chinese, who oppose the secessionist moves by the Taiwan authorities, and show their resolve in supporting the reunification of China.

Representatives of overseas Chinese held a seminar this week in Sao Paulo, the biggest city in Brazil, condemning the referendum bid and other secessionist moves by the Taiwan authorities.

Li Jinhui, head of the All-Brazil Union for Promotion of China Reunification, said Chinese both at home and abroad would never allow the referendum farce become a reality.

In Brasilia, Belem and some other Brazilian cities, overseas Chinese organizations issued statements over the past days slamming the referendum plan, which they denounced as a plot to split Taiwan from the motherland.

The referendum plan will never be allowed to be put into practice, the Association of Overseas Chinese in Brasilia warned in its statement.

Source: Xinhua

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