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2006/10/3 - Staying in power: at what cost?
  Local media in Taiwan have reported on the constitutional reform plans by the Chen Shui-bian administration, and this reform would touch the sensitive issue of national sovereignty, potentially pushing Taiwan towards the edge of Cross-Strait crisis for the sake of a president? job security.

Chen has repeatedly stressed that Taiwan should redefine its national territory in a newly written constitution; he has also called for the use of ?aiwan?as the official designation for the country to join the United Nations.

The Chen Shui-bian-led Democratic Progressive Party is again playing the ?ndependence card? The Taiwan independence issue has been regularly used as a mobilization tool by the Chen administration in the past. This time, Chen is toying with the issue once again to regain some popular support after a year of corruption allegations against him, his family and aides.

Under the current Cross-Strait and geopolitical situation, it is very unlikely that Taiwan can legally formalize its independence. Chen knows this, his grass-root supporters may not. It is a despicable political act to try to regain popularity at the expense of national security and regional stability. When facing Washington, Chen pledges to maintain the status-quo, at the same time he makes his supporters believe that independence is imminent.

As a political strategy, Chen is also tacitly allowing his grass-root supporters to use violence against anti-corruption protestors. The Chen administration not only takes advantage of his grasp on the political establishment, but is also deepening ethnic and political differences in order to create social instability within Taiwan, and blame the anti-corruption protests all across Taiwan as the mother of all evil.

Democratic Progressive Party controlled counties and cities (i.e. Kaohsiung City, Kaohsiung County, Tainan City, Tainan County and Chiayi County) have systematically denied permission or obstructed anti-corruption rallies. It is ironic that the DPP had fought for freedom of expression and right to assembly only to deny those with a difference of opinion to speak out once in power.

Anti-corruption protestors have also been the target of violence by Chen-supporters. The latter have used insults, helmets, pikes, stones, BB guns and all sorts of weapons at their disposal against those who do not share their political opinions, or are simply wearing a red shirt. These mobs are being tacitly allowed to do so when the police reduced its role as bystanders. Police action is required not to contain possible riots by anti-corruption protestors, but to restrain pro-Chen sympathizers.

Regional and national stability and harmony are being jeopardized again, this time for the sake of Chen Shui-bian? seat at the Presidential Office.
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