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US: Taiwan must decide referendum on its own

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[Washington, D.C., July 25, 2003] Taiwan must decide on its own whether it pursues a public referendum on its own future, says US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs on July 24 at a hearing held by the Congressional Executive Commission on China.

It is reported that Taiwan is now pushing for a referendum on its own future, given the constant threat from Mainland China. The US official refused to discuss details in public in terms of its talks with official representatives from Taiwan, particular with the visiting Secretary General of the Taiwan Government. Beijing has exerted pressure on Taipei to not pursue such a referendum as it expects that the outcome will be prone to Taiwan’s independence. The recent outcry against Article 23 in Hong Kong has sent a chilling message to residents of Taiwan, who fear that their freedoms will be infringed upon should unification with Mainland China take place.

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