Paal’s lack of clarity
Former American Institute in Taiwan director Douglas Paal has weighed in on Taiwan’s election by criticizing Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) proposed “Taiwan consensus” as ineffective because it is “too vague.” Instead, he prefers President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) attachment to the so-called “1992 consensus.” Yet, that “consensus” is hardly a model of clarity, because Taiwan and China have never agreed on its meaning.
“The US looks at the ‘Taiwan consensus’ and we know that it is not possible, because we know Taiwan was deeply divided about its future relations with China,” Paal said when explaining why he believes Washington prefers the Ma approach.
By that standard, the so-called “1992 consensus” is even less relevant to a cross-strait resolution because Taiwan and China are far more “deeply divided about [their] future relations.”
Beijing wants ultimate sovereignty over Taiwan, but the Taiwanese, pan-blue and pan-green, want to keep the democracy they have. Most Americans also want that for Taiwan.
Missing an opportunity
I’m often amazed at the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) failure to make hay from the various gaffes and obscenely elitist, unfair or otherwise offensive actions of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
Recently, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) publicly praised women’s leadership potential, causing reporters to ask him if such praise amounted to an endorsement of DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) abilities.
What a perfect chance for the DPP to score points, but, as usual, they failed to seize the moment. Ma’s campaign gaffe should have been met with demands for the KMT to explain exactly why, in this day and age in one of Asia’s most sexually egalitarian countries, the KMT is still almost without exception a political party steered by men.
As a foreigner, I am a bit unaware of the details of politics here, but I cannot think of a single woman wielding significant influence within the KMT other than a few who earned their influence as TV personalities.
If Ma admires women’s leadership so much, why does his party remain so patriarchal compared with the DPP?
Xindian, New Taipei City