posted on Mar, 20 2004 @ 10:09 AM
Taiwan's Missile Defense Referendum failed to pass today, with only 45 percent turnout. The two questions on the ballot where:
1. Should Taiwan beef up missile defense in the face of China increasing buildup, and;
2. Whether Taiwan should negotiate with China.
New President Chen Shui-bian, survivor of yesterdays assassination attempt, stated that many Taiwanese did not know the significance of this missile
referendum. He pledged to listen to Taiwan's voice by strengthening national defense and pursuing peace negotiations. He also asked China to
dis-orient it's many missiles pointed at Taiwan.
In his victory speech, President Chen Shui-bian said the referendum was a major step forward for Taiwan's democracy. Because it was the country's
first ever referendum, Chen said, some Taiwanese people did not understand its significance. Chen also added that his government would pay attention
to the people's voice expressed in the referendum by strengthening Taiwan's national defense and pursuing peace negotiations with China.
Chen also asked China take a positive view of the Taiwanese people's choice in the election and referendum. Chen asked China to remove its ballistic
missiles aimed at Taiwan and open the door to dialogue and cross-strait stability.
Before the election, Minister of National Defense Tang Yiau-ming said the referendum results will not affect arms purchases from the US.
Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen also emphasized that President Chen Shui-bian's government would not abandon any opportunity to
negotiate with China, and that Chen election victory would mean China must sit down with Chen at the negotiation table in the next four years.
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Chen Shui-bian voted into office!
[Edited on 20-3-2004 by Zion Mainframe]