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Taiwan leader wants to write new constitution

[JURIST] Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian [official profile] told the Japanese Yomiuri Shimbun daily in an interview reported Saturday that he was resolved to drafting a new constitution [current text] for the country better suited to its current circumstances. Earlier in the week, Chen stirred controversy when he put an end to a 15-year detente with mainland China by scrapping a policymaking council set up to study reunification [official transcript], blaming "military intimidation" and the mainland's so-called Anti-secession Law [JURIST report] for his decision. Citing a recent increase in the number of PRC missiles now aimed at Taiwan - up from 200 to 784 in the last six years - Chen told the Yomiuri Shimbun that China now had a visible intent to invade the country and this warranted a series of new measures. He acknowledged that agreeing on a new national charter by the end of his presidential term in 2008 would be difficult, but the outcome would largely depend on the results of parliamentary elections in 2007 that could sustain the process.

Chen's Democratic Progressive Party [political party website] is very much pro-independence, but lost support in recent national and local elections. The Yomiuri Shimbun has more.

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