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Chen denies twisting Hsieh's arm in dealing with Beijing

President Chen Shui-bian Thursday denied taking a hard line toward Beijing in order to help his Democratic Progressive Party's presidential candidate Frank Hsieh appear as an electable moderate or centrist.
Chen made the assertion during an interview with The New York Times that was published on the Presidential Office's Website Friday.
Chen said Hsieh has made it very clear that he will insist on Taiwan-centric consciousness and there is no possibility that he would accept a peace treaty under the "one China" principle.
"In this regard, Hsieh and I are in total agreement,”Chen said, remarking on Chinese President Hu Jintao's offer Monday to sign a peace agreement.
"So I do not think there is a question of who plays the hardliner and who plays the moderate,”Chen said.
Some pundits have said Hsieh disagree with Chen on Hu's proposal.
Chen pointed out that all politicians in Taiwan welcomed the idea of signing a peace treaty with China but they have different conditions of accepting the proposal.
"Hsieh has his conditions and I have my own insistence,”Chen continued.“So you can say that all of us like the idea of signing a peace treaty, but it doesn't mean that we welcome this peace treaty without any conditions.”
Chen has set three conditions for Taiwan to sit down at the negotiation table with China--namely China must renounce the use of force against Taiwan and repeal its "anti-secession law and give up the "one China" precondition.
Chen also denied media reports he is twisting Hsieh's arm about the proposed UN referendum that is asking the people to back the government's effort to join the world organization under the name“Taiwan.”
Many have said the vote is Chen's personal agenda and Hsieh has had reservations about the wisdom of the referendum.
But Chen said the UN referendum is both the main focus of the presidential campaign and an important milestone in the strengthening and consolidation of Taiwan's democracy.
The president related that he and Hsieh have had many discussions on the subject and both shared similar views.“The proposal was the result of our discussions,”Chen said, adding that Hsieh, the party's Central Standing Committee member, co-sponsored the proposal.

Updated : 2021-10-16 21:14 GMT+08:00