Sun, Oct 16, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: Wang case shows KMT complicity

The decision of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to appoint Legislative Speaker and former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) vice chairman Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) as his proxy to the informal APEC leaders' summit next month was indeed a creative one that accomplishes multiple goals.

These are improving the relationship between the Presidential Office and the Legislative Yuan, helping to repair the relationship between his government and some sections of the KMT, and elevating the level of his proxy to the APEC meeting.

However, true to form, Beijing has opposed the idea.

It isn't hard to figure out Beijing's reasons for saying "no." Making Taiwan look bad and constricting Taiwan's breathing space in the international community are pretty safe options when it comes to second-guessing Beijing's motives.

Under the circumstances, the reaction of the pan-blue camp and its leaders are much more noteworthy. Naturally, the pan-blue camp jumped for joy upon hearing the announcement. Even KMT Chairman and Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said he would be "happy" to see it happen.

The real interesting twist came when Beijing rejected the idea. Instead of condemning Beijing for rejecting what he had once considered a great idea, Ma went on to blame the Presidential Office for insisting on the appointment while knowing full well that the Chinese government would say "no."

There are some obvious problems in the logic underlying Ma's position. First, since when has it been a rule that Taiwan must seek the approval of Beijing when appointing delegates to APEC's informal summit meeting? Even if the host country has typically deferred to the relentless and unreasonable demands of Beijing, it is an entirely different matter if people in Taiwan began to see the blessing of Beijing as the top priority when deciding who to send.

Then there is the talk by pan-blue camp members about helping to resolve the problem through its "channels of communication" with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as if they genuinely believe that they have a shot at changing the CCP's position. On second thought, perhaps they already know that they have no chance, so they are saying that their communication with the CCP would have been easier had it taken place before Beijing said no.

But, didn't Chen tell Wang weeks earlier? Why didn't they begin the talks then?

Ever since former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) visited China earlier this year, the KMT has been acting as if their words carry weight with the CCP leadership. This display is either intended to impress pro-China constituents in Taiwan or else suggests a hopeless case of self-delusion. During Lien's trip to China this year, he did not even dare to affirm the sovereignty of the "Republic of China on Taiwan," let alone convince the Chinese leadership to take a softer approach toward Taiwan. This time around it would truly be a miracle if they can convince Beijing to accept Wang's appointment.

The only reason that the Chinese leadership was willing to extend the pan-blue leaders a half-decent reception was because this added great value to the Chinese unification propaganda campaign by endorsing the "Greater China" ideology. There is nothing more to the relationship. It is about time everyone saw the truth for what it is.

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