President Hu doesn't mention Taiwan

Dec. 19, 2004 at 10:42 PM
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MACAU, China, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao didn't mention the touchy Taiwan issue on Monday in his speech marking the 5th anniversary of Macau's return to Chinese rule.

Speculation was rife that Hu would speak about China's resolve to reunify with Taiwan - which Beijing considers a breakaway province that must be brought back to the fold, by force if necessary, ChannelNews Asia reports Monday.

Last week, China said it planned to introduce an anti-secession law, a move political analysts say is aimed at heading off a formal declaration of independence by Taiwan.

Instead, Hu spent most of his time praising Macau and the way it has adapted to the "one country, two systems" model - designed to give the former Portuguese colony a wide degree of autonomy.

President Hu also gave an unprecedented public dressing down to the leadership of Hong Kong, telling officals to seriously examine their failures over the past seven years.

He told Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa and his cabinet their performance must improve.

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