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The World | IN BRIEF / TAIWAN

Marchers Seek Right to Hold Referendums

October 26, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

More than 100,000 people marched in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung to demand the right to hold referendums and support President Chen Shui-bian, who has called for such votes to be allowed and the constitution to be revised.

Chen's calls have incurred the wrath of China, which considers Taiwan a renegade province and has refused to rule out the use of force against the island.

Opposition parties have opposed referendums because they fear that Chen's party might hold a vote on whether Taiwan should reject unification with China.

Chen, facing a tough election in less than six months, told supporters: "Taiwan is a sovereign country. We are not part of something else, we are not a provincial government."

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