Sun, Aug 19, 2007 - Page 8 News List

The Republic of China must end

By Michelle Wang 王美琇

The "Resolution for a Normal Country" that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has announced is closely related to the development of Taiwan as a nation. In my opinion, the resolution has come at the right time and we should pay serious attention to it. There are at least four points that should be considered.

The first is the historical mission of the DPP. Taiwan has arrived at an historical watershed where it may become a normal country. A responsible party has the obligation to tell the public where the difficulties lie for Taiwan and where it wants to take the country. The DPP's resolution points out that the present situation is not normal and plots a direction for the future development of the country.

But I think that the DPP has sidestepped the fact that it has restricted its own options. It was a mistake when, in order to win political power in 2000, the DPP adopted the "Resolution on Taiwan's Future."

When the DPP acknowledged and rationalized the Republic of China (ROC) and set up its government within the ROC framework, it rendered them unable to carry out thorough reforms of the distortions and mistakes of that framework. It has already been seven years since the DPP came to power and the difficulties of governing and the problems of the country are all related to the idea of the ROC.

If the DPP government does not thoroughly put an end to the ROC framework, there is no way out for Taiwan.

Second, the ROC is not the same as Taiwan. The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has ruled Taiwan for half a century and the so-called Constitution of the ROC was designed to rule all of China. During the presidency of Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) several amendments were made to the Constitution that were intended to limit the jurisdiction of the ROC to Taiwan and Penghu. But the basic spirit of the Constitution as a whole, including the amendments, does not consider Taiwan a different country. It divides the ROC into a Taiwan area and a Mainland area. This means that the most fundamental law of our country, the Constitution of the ROC, does not see Taiwan as a country, but as an area.

According to this line of thinking, the ROC represents all of China and Taiwan is only a hotel that the ROC is temporarily staying in, with the ultimate goal of the unification of China. This is the KMT's legal system and it is the source of the abnormality of the constitutional government, education, foreign relations, national defense and other institutions. The chaos in Taiwan's democracy can be traced back to this, which is why we have to draft a new constitution for Taiwan.

Third, Taiwan has never been treated as a country. President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has been in office for seven years and he has stated countless times that Taiwan is an independent, sovereign country, and that Taiwan and China are two different countries on each side of the Taiwan Strait. But in treaties that the Taiwanese government signs with foreign countries, in records, in international organizations in which Taiwan participates and in Taiwan's representative offices in other countries, the name Taiwan has never been used.

Instead, the name used is either the Republic of China -- a name that has become meaningless internationally and has been replaced by China -- or names like Chinese Taipei, Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Jinmen and Matzu, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, or terms like fishing entity, health entity or meteorological entity.

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