Wed, Oct 15, 2003 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: Pan-blues singing the blues

In a recent interview with the Washington Post, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said that China had been secretly helping the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party (PFP) to stonewall his government. His remarks drew a strong backlash from the opposition parties. KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) slammed Chen for tarnishing the party. Yesterday, eight KMT and PFP legislators, including Lee Chia-chin (李嘉進) and Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋), filed a libel suit against Chen.

Are the KMT and PFP really angry or are they faking it? The Constitution endows the president with immunity from criminal prosecution, so such a lawsuit seems aimed at attracting media attention rather than legal retribution. Are the KMT and the PFP seriously alleging the president should bear criminal responsibility for his comments?

Responding to news of the lawsuit, Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘), convener of the Taiwan Solidarity Union's legislative caucus, described the suit as "thieves accusing others of being thieves."

The KMT and the PFP have frequently defamed former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and his wife as well as Chen and members of his family. It appears that the pan-blue camp is more than happy to dish out criticism; it just can't take it.

There are two other adages that come to mind as the pan-blue camp totters around trying to look hurt and offended. The first adage is the truth hurts. To paraphrase the second adage -- if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's Beijing's duck.

Chen's remarks were simply a reiteration of something that is widely known. The people of Taiwan have watched as the KMT and the PFP acted as if they were walking the same road with China's government, despite the denials from both parties. The KMT's "one China" stance is not only in line with Beijing's policy, but the party has repeatedly claimed that China and Taiwan did reach a consensus during the Koo-Wang talks in 1992.

Despite the party's efforts at cosmetic surgery over the past decade, this is basically the same group that ran the Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) government and claimed that the Republic of China's territory covered all of China. The KMT's dream would certainly lead Taiwan down the path to annexation by Beijing.

Meanwhile, the PFP basically accepts China's "one country, two systems." Soong and his followers are apparently untroubled by Hong Kong's dramatic decline under such a format. Why should the people of Taiwan be willing to see their country turned into a special administrative region of China, given the fate of the people of Hong Kong and Macau?

Because the KMT's and PFP's cross-strait policies fit perfectly into Beijing's fraudulent claims to sovereignty over Taiwan, the parties have attracted support from China -- both covert and overt -- in stonewalling the government's reform efforts. Beijing's rejection of the government's "small three links" policy is a prime example.

If the KMT and the PFP feel uncomfortable being reminded how much they parrot China's policies, then they should not toady up to Beijing. More importantly, they must prove -- by action, not just words -- that they are on the side of the Taiwanese people. This would spare them from more "hurtful" accusations.

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