Sun, May 29, 2016 - Page 8 News List

EDITORIAL: Opposition for opposition’s sake

Over the past eight years, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) frequently accused the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of “opposing the government only for the sake of opposing” and now the comment best describes the KMT itself, especially its members’ criticism of the use of the term “Chinese Taipei” at the World Health Assembly (WHA).

Addressing a WHA meeting at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on Wednesday, Minister of Health and Welfare Lin Tzou-yien (林奏延) used the term “Chinese Taipei” when referring to Taiwan, but did not use “Taiwan” at all.

It was no surprise that immediately after the speech, DPP Legislator Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應) and New Power Party Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) — who were in the observers’ seats during the speech — expressed their “regret” and “disappointment” respectively.

However, some people’s jaws might have dropped hearing the strong reaction from the KMT.

In addition to criticisms from individual KMT lawmakers and politicians, the KMT legislative caucus on Friday attempted — unsuccessfully — to propose a motion to condemn Lin over his “downgrading” of Taiwan’s status as a sovereign state by failing to mention “Taiwan” in his speech and to demand the minister apologize for it.

Anyone with a knowledge of Taiwan’s political scene knows that the KMT has been a firm defender of the term “Chinese Taipei.”

Although KMT politicians claim that they would prefer to use “the Republic of China,” they consider “Chinese Taipei” acceptable, as it is in accordance with the so-called “1992 consensus” allegedly reached by representatives from the Straits Exchange Foundation and China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits in 1992 that both sides of the Strait are parts of “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

KMT politicians have often been upset with and lashed out at some DPP or other pro-independence politicians for opposing the use of “Chinese Taipei,” saying that it was a move to break the cross-strait consensus that might bring serious consequences if China was upset.

According to this logic, should the KMT not be the first to praise a minister from the DPP administration who uses the term “Chinese Taipei” and defend him against Tsai’s “regret” and Lim’s “disappointment?”

The ridiculous development shows that the KMT is not a party that sticks to its ideas and principles — it is a party that “opposes only for the sake of opposing” and is willing to try anything to make its rival look bad, rather than thinking of the nation’s future.

This mentality can also be seen in the party’s attitude regarding proposed amendments to the Assembly and Parade Act (集會遊行法) and the Referendum Act (公民投票法). In the past, the KMT opposed relaxing such laws, but ahead of the transition of power, it suddenly moved to accept amendments proposed by the DPP to relax the regulations on demonstrations, as well as lowering the threshold for holding referendum.

In a statement explaining the shift, KMT Central Policy Committee executive director Alex Tsai (蔡正元) said that since the DPP would be taking over the government, the KMT no longer needed to “look after the DPP.”

So, this is how the KMT thinks. It supports or opposes a policy or a proposed amendment not because it is good or bad for the nation, but because it is good or bad for the KMT — or its rivals.

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