Thousands of Taiwanese marched through the streets of Taipei on
Sunday to voice their opposition to a planned nuclear station and a
possible U.S.-China deal that would allow U.S. nuclear reactor sales
The protest coincides with the visit to the United States by
China's President Jiang Zemin. According to news reports, Washington
and Beijing are close to an agreement that would allow U.S. nuclear
reactor sales to China.
``As the White House prepares to roll out the red carpet to
welcome the Chinese leaders...to sell nuclear reactors and
technology to China, we would like to call for the support of the
international community to establish a nuclear-free Asia,'' the
organizers said in a statement. ``We want to warn the two
superpowers -- China and the United States -- that the Taiwan
people's interests cannot be sacrificed and the Asian people's
anti-nuclear determination cannot be challenged,'' the statement
They chanted anti-nuclear slogans in front of the American
Institute in Taiwan -- Washington's unofficial representative office
in the absence of formal diplomatic relations. with the Kuomintang
Wearing yellow headbands that read ``Reject the nuclear power
plant to save Taiwan,'' the activists also protested at the Taiwan
government's plan to build a controversial nuclear power station.
Taiwan approved plans to build the US$4.1 billion, 2,700-megawatt
nuclear power plant, Taiwan's fourth, in 1994 after six years of
delays and protests following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in
the Soviet Union.
The government revived the project in 1992 and construction work
has since resumed. State-run Taipower produces 21,900 megawatts of
power annually, about 23.5 percent of which is generated by three
nuclear power plants. Total ouput must rise to 36,000 megawatts by
2002 if power consumption is to keep pace with Taiwan's economic
growth, officials have said.
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