Thu, Jun 07, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: The KMT's revealing reaction

The Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) response to allegations that it harbors sympathy for China boggles the mind.

Instead of getting red in the face, the KMT's lawmakers need to take a long, hard look at why many Taiwanese question their motives -- and at why they react in such a manner.

The latest KMT outburst occurred yesterday, when a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said that Taiwan's diplomatic relations with Costa Rica, which began in 1944, have reached a crossroads.

Foreign Minister James Huang (黃志芳) described the relations yesterday as "sensitive."

According to foreign ministry officials, Costa Rica has been in close contact with China as it needs Beijing's support to realize its goal of becoming a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Upon learning that Taiwan-Costa Rica relations might be in danger, KMT legislators, as usual, were quick to fault the DPP government.

KMT Legislator John Chiang (蔣孝嚴) ridiculed the efforts of foreign ministry diplomats, perhaps thinking that his stint as a foreign minister somehow justified his criticism.

However, the KMT never seems to utter a harsh word against China, which, after all, schemes incessantly to reduce Taiwan's space in the international community.

Of course the administration and the foreign ministry should not be exempt from criticism.

But in cases such as the ties with Costa Rica where Taiwan is clearly being set upon by China, the KMT invariably chooses to slam the government instead of aiming at the real target -- the despots in Beijing.

Taiwan is an independent state. The first reaction of patriotic Taiwanese should therefore be to denounce China's malignant suppression, not condemn their own government.

It is no secret that China is adopting a two-track strategy toward Taiwan, offering friendship on the one hand while increasing its military intimidation and hindering Taiwan's diplomatic space on the other.

During former KMT chairman Lien Chan's (連戰) 2005 trip to China, he signed an agreement with his hosts that stated Beijing would help with Taiwan's participation in international organizations.

But most Taiwanese would prefer that China stop its efforts to constrict Taiwan's international space over any "help" that the dictators in Beijing might deign to provide.

However, as China is unlikely to leave Taiwan alone, the KMT should at least stop harboring fantasies about Chinese benevolence.

Taiwan's political parties should cast aside partisan differences and work in concert to safeguard the nation's diplomatic future interests and dignity.

Or is that too much to ask of the KMT?

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