Tuesday, May 11, 2004

China threatens to lock down its position on Taiwan independence

Wen Jiabao said yesterday that he would consider legislation to define Taiwanese independence and mandate steps against it. The point seems to be to adopt the standard - but dangerous - negotiating position of a line in the sand which your opponent must not cross, a form of ultimatum, or non-negotiable position.
Specifically, the aim must be to prevent the DPP administration from putting certain changes to the Taiwanese constitution in the referendum which is planned for 2006, as suggested by Reuters, elaborating on the China Daily report. I'm not sure what wording exactly is at stake.

Chinese Kremlinologists will presumably be interested in the way the proposal was put forward - by one Shan Sheng, apparently a member of the Chinese community in the UK, at a meeting with Wen Jiabou, who is visiting.

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