President Chen signed documents to disband the council on Tuesday
Newspapers on both sides of the Taiwan Strait lambaste Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian for scrapping the reunification council.
While the mainland press warns that the decision will affect peace and stability in the entire region, papers in Taiwan fear the move could have serious repercussions for the country's economy.
One Hong Kong commentator calls for calm, arguing the move is little more than a political gesture without real meaning. And a pro-Beijing Hong Kong daily accuses Washington of double standards.
China's Renmin Ribao
A sudden gust of wind has sent a danger signal: Some people want to instigate a new Taiwan Strait crisis. This is a bold gamble carried out by 'Taiwan independence' politicians who lust for power. Chen Shui-bian has started to swallow his pledges one by one. He has even deprived the populace in Taiwan of the choice of future unification. Like throwing a 'shockwave bomb', it will inevitably intensify political turmoil on the island, trigger a crisis in the Taiwan Strait, and destroy peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
Beijing's China Daily
Chen is bent on legitimizing 'Taiwan independence' in the remaining two years of his second and final term despite the common aspiration across the straits for peaceful and cooperative ties between both sides. He is apparently attempting to pursue self-interest at the cost of the fundamental well-being of Taiwan people and cross-straits peace and stability... By obstinately taking an extreme secessionist path to make Taiwan secede from China, Chen is making himself an enemy of the will of the mainstream in Taiwan and the inevitable trend of closer cross-straits integration. Chen is doomed to failure as the entire Chinese nation stands united to fight secessionist activities and safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Shanghai's Dongfang Zaobao (Oriental Morning Post)
While we should let the Americans understand that the Taiwan issue is our core interest, and actively deploy all deployable forces to attack 'Taiwan independence', we must also not place too high expectations on the Americans. In order to contain 'Taiwan independence', we must ultimately depend on our own strength.
Beijing's Huaxia Shibao (China Times)
This flagrant action shows that 'Taiwan independence' separatist activities have further escalated to the step of staking everything on one bet, and the consequences will inevitably trigger a serious crisis in the Taiwan Strait region, and destroy peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
Commentator in Hong Kong's Apple Daily
Mr Chen Shui-bian... is only making a bit of noise and making a bit of inconvenience, and this will not have an actual influence on the structure of cross-strait relations, so the Beijing side really does not need to make a hard-line response to the little tricks of Mr Chen and the Democratic Progressive Party government, and should not abandon the promotion of cross-strait exchanges and abandon efforts to improve cross-strait relations.
Hong Kong's pro-Beijing Wen Wei Po
Although the US has given a verbal warning, it has failed to take any really effective preventative action, and is even secretly working in concert. This has further exposed the US double standard of 'saying one thing and doing another' on the Taiwan issue. This shows that the US' cross-strait policy is just like a pendulum, one direction of the pendulum being the 'one-China' policy, while the other is actually aimed at suppressing China's peaceful rise.
Hong Kong's Sing Pao Daily News
Beijing must make a solemn statement and decisive response regarding this, but it also needs to take sharp action, to refreeze cross-strait relations, because only this will make Ah-bian (Chen) fall into the trap that he has set... Ah-bian is by no means unaware of the risks of this action, but for the sake of personal gain, he has tied Taiwan's 25m populace to the tank of Taiwan independence, and fully revealed his true colours as a political gambler once again.
Taiwan's Central Daily News
Chen Shui-bian's aim... is to take advantage of the unification-independence dispute, to stir up a new wave of ethnic confrontation. When has he ever truly cared about economic problems and livelihood problems? Today what the Taiwan people urgently need is a resolution of livelihood problems, because, under the Democratic Progressive Party's governance, their right to subsistence has been deprived, let alone the protection of their human rights.
Taipei's Apple Daily
One can no doubt pursue one's ideals without the pressure of re-election, but the repercussions domestically, from the US, China and internationally, will be extremely disadvantageous to Taiwan... This will instead make US-China relations more consolidated in joining forces to suppress Taiwan... Although [it] will not trigger war, it will be no help at all for Taiwan's livelihood interests.
Taipei's Liberty Times
It will... have a deep lesson for Taiwan in future. The era of indigenous rule in Taiwan is still short, and pro-China remnant forces still exist... These people are promoting ultimate unification, and there is only China and no Taiwan in their hearts, and to tell the truth, this is... dangerous.
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