RealNews

China Rebukes Taiwan's Leader On New Plans For Referendum

A senior Chinese official rejected the new wording of a referendum that Taiwan is planning to hold in March and warned Monday that it would push cross-strait tensions “to the brink of danger.” But he did not say how China would respond if the self-governing island went ahead with the vote. The statement was the first by a Chinese leader on the subject since Taiwan’s president, Chen Shui-bian, under pressure from the United States, announced Friday that he was changing the questions he intended to put on the ballot. Chen originally proposed asking whether Taiwan should demand that China remove the estimated 500 missiles it has aimed at the island. After the Bush administration criticized the ballot question as meaningless and dangerous, Chen said he would ask voters whether Taiwan should buy more advanced weapons if China refused to withdraw its missiles, and whether the island should try to open talks with Beijing. Full Story

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