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Chen sees EU as model for cross-strait relations

Chen sees EU as model for cross-strait relations

The unification models of East and West Germany and members of the European Union are good examples for Taiwan to follow in pursuit of the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday.
Germany can serve as a model for Taiwan and China to iron out existing differences over cross-strait issues, as East and West Germany had signed treaties to before their unification to pave the way, Chen told a group of parliamentarians from the German Social Democratic Party, at the Presidential Office yesterday.
But the president noted that when the two sides were pushing for unification, they were both members of the United Nations.
By the same token, "the European Union was formed by 25 nations based on the principles of sovereignty, democracy, peace and parity, a model we could follow," Chen said.
The EU's integration has been successful because it recognized every member state as independent and respected the right of the people of the different countries to decide whether or not to join the EU, instead of resorting to the use of force, Chen noted.
Furthermore, the EU's success derived from the very important principle that all member states were considered equal, regardless of size, and they were not classified as central or local governments, the president told the delegation that was led by German parliamentarian Christian Lange.
Chen also took the opportunity to express gratitude to the German Parliament for its opposition to the EU's plan to lift the arms embargo against China in October 2004. The embargo was put in place after the Tiananmen Square massacre in China in 1989.
Chen said that the EU should not be in any haste to lift the arms embargo, as China's human rights record has not improved in the intervening 17 years and it still remains one of the most oppressive countries in the world.
Despite the European Parliament's call for a peaceful resolution to cross-strait differences, China has maintained double-digit growth in military expansion every year for the last decade, the president pointed out.
"The PRC has deployed more than 800 missiles along its southeastern coast targeting Taiwan, which is more than four times the number in 2000," he said.
China has paid no attention to the European Parliament's call for cross-strait differences to be resolved by peaceful means, but instead enacted an anti-secession law in March 2005 to provide legal grounds to use force against Taiwan, as part of a three-phase plan to eventually take over the island, Chen said.
It would be a violation of the founding principles of the European democracies, including Germany, if the EU should allow its member states to sell arms to undemocratic China to be used against democratic Taiwan, the president told his German visitors.


Updated : 2021-05-13 12:04 GMT+08:00