Mon, Jul 28, 2003 - Page 8 News List

What is the PFP idea about `one country?'

By Shen Fu-hsiung 沈富雄

A few days ago, some PFP legislators and their supporters gathered at the Legislative Yuan, holding placards saying "Oppose `one country, two systems,'" and voicing support for the Hong Kong people's struggle for freedom.

This was meant to show support for the Hong Kong people's action against anti-subversion legislation which would be mandated by Article 23 of the Basic Law, if passed.

This scene has inevitably created confusion. One wonders if the PFP is against "one country" or against "two systems."

If the party is opposing "one country, two systems," then does it advocate "one country, one system" or "two countries, two systems?"

According to the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平), "two systems" means a special administrative region can have its autonomy and exercise a system that is different from China's.

In this respect, "two systems" is quite compatible with "maintaining the status quo" as advocated by the PFP. There is not much for the PFP to oppose. If the PFP is not opposing "two systems," is it then opposing "one country?"

Since it is supporting the Hong Kong people's struggle for freedom and opposing "one country, two systems," this "one country" is apparently not the Republic of China. Rather, it's got to be the People's Republic of China (PRC).

If the PFP is against "one country" under PRC rule, does it mean it supports "one country" under ROC rule? This reads like a fairy tale from the previous century, doesn't it?

Now back to reality. PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) once proposed "integration under a one-China rooftop." He appeared to be echoing from afar the "one China" stance advocated by the other side of the Taiwan Strait.

However, if we take a close look at the blue camp's cross-strait policy platforms -- from KMT Chairman Lien Chan's (連戰) confederation dictum to Soong's "one-China rooftop" to the recent "two-China status quo" proposed by former education minister Mao Kao-wen (毛高文) -- they all substantively oppose "one country." Regardless of the wording, this is the case from the perspective of independent sovereignty and equality.

In this regard, their position is primarily the same as former president Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) "special state-to-state relations" and President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) "one country on each side."

In election time, we always hear the mathematical war of words about "how many Chinas, how many countries" or "how many Chinas, how many systems." Due to their history and identity, the blue camp frequently gets trapped in the "one China" or "one country" cage. This contravenes reality, and the blues have a struggle with which to tangle in their hearts.

However, from Mao's "two-Chinas status quo" to the PFP's "oppose `one country, two systems,'" we can see that the blue camp has gradually revised its platform on cross-strait relations.

I think the cross-strait problem lies not in the questions of "China or no China" or "how many systems." The point is that Taiwan's mainstream public opinion simply cannot accept "one country." As long as this crux is not resolved, it would be useless to say much more.

Shen Fu-hsiung is a DPP legislator.

Translated by Francis Huang

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