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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Taiwan presidential hopeful raises Tibet spectre

March 17, 2008

Forbes, NY
16 Mar 2008

TAIPEI (XFN-ASIA) - The governing party candidate for Taiwan's
presidential election warned today that the island could go the way of
Tibet under Chinese rule as he rallied supporters for a final campaign push.

Frank Hsieh accused China of bullying and urged voters to sweep him to
victory in the March 22 vote past frontrunner Ma Ying-jeou of the
opposition Kuomintang.

Ma favours closer ties with Beijing and has proposed a common market
with China to promote trade between the traditional foes.

Hsieh used a rally here to warn of a repeat of the violence that has
swept Tibet in recent days, amid reports of gunfire and tanks on the
streets to put down the biggest uprising against Chinese rule in nearly
20 years.

'If Taiwan's future is to be decided by people on both sides of the
strait, what has happened in Tibet today will be Taiwan's future,' he
told a crowd of tens of thousands of supporters, some of whom waved Free
Tibet posters.

China sent soldiers into Tibet in 1950 to 'liberate' the Himalayan
region, and officially annexed it a year later.

Hsieh and his pro-independence Democratic Progressive (nyse: PGR - news
- people ) Party often cite the spectre of an invasion to denounce
closer ties with Beijing.

'We are standing here to oppose a one-China market... to oppose a
bullying one-China,' Hsieh added.

'We will reverse the tide,' he vowed, using a campaign slogan referring
to opinion polls that put him 20 points behind Ma.

Meanwhile, in southern Taiwan, Ma rallied his own supporters in
similarly festive mood, balloons bearing the symbol of a horse, a
homophone of his last name.

'Let's choose a president who will move Taiwan forward instead of back.
We have already lost eight years and we must reform now for Taiwan's
future,' he urged a gathering in the city of Tainan.

Both candidates were to address mass rallies today.

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