Taiwan opposition to push impeachment of China Prez
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Taiwan opposition to push impeachment of China Prez

Taiwan's main opposition party said it hoped to bring over 100,000 people onto the streets to demand impeaching the President for heightening tension with China.

india Updated: Mar 01, 2006 14:58 IST

Taiwan's main opposition party has said that it hopes to bring over 100,000 people onto the streets, to demand that the parliament impeach President Chen Shui-bian for heightening tension with China.

Cheng Li-wen, a spokesman for the Kuomintang (KMT), said the president's decision to scrap an advisory council which forumlated a policy on the island's possible reunification with China was opposed by most Taiwanese.

"Many people are angry at Chen for failing to address economic problems while continuing to manipulate the independence issue," said Cheng.

The spokesman said the party expected 100,000 people to rally against the president on March 12.

"The passage of the impeachment through parliament will be difficult," Cheng said.

The impeachment of the president requires the support of at least two-thirds of the 225 lawmakers in parliament. The KMT holds only 87 seats.

Chen, a long-time advocate of independence, defied pressure from Beijing and Washington on Tuesday to formally close down the advisory council and scrap accompanying guidelines on reunification.

The council was considered largely symbolic and had been dormant since Chen was elected president in 2000, but his decision infuriated Beijing which accused the Taiwanese leader of pushing the region towards disaster.

Even though China and Taiwan separated after civil war in 1949, Beijing still considers the island part of its territory and has threatened to retake the island by force if it moves towards independence.

Chen has defended his decision, saying it was prompted by Beijing's persistent military threat and its attempts to use non-peaceful means to unilaterally change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait.

First Published: Mar 01, 2006 14:58 IST