Under Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) rule, the government habitually and unrealistically equated focusing on China with focusing on globalization, hiding behind the sacred “1992 consensus.” Now that it is in opposition, the KMT is accusing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government of being a troublemaker for refusing to be held hostage by China and by a policy that allows Beijing to do as it pleases, and for pragmatically trying to put an end to Taiwan’s diplomatic problems.
However, following the KMT’s defeats in 2014’s nine-in-one elections and this year’s presidential and legislative elections, most Taiwanese are clearly opposed to the KMT. Not only is there no longer a market for the deceitful “1992 consensus,” but an attempt to label the DPP as a troublemaker has also failed.
Why should the situation be different in the international community?
During an interview with Voice of America on June 22 and also during a speech on Saturday last week, American Institute in Taiwan Chairman Raymond Burghardt unambiguously said that in 1992, then-Straits Exchange Foundation chairman Koo Chen-fu (辜振甫) and then-Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits chairman Wang Daohan (汪道涵) did not mention a “1992 consensus” during their meeting. This is clearly a warning to the people clinging to the fabricated “1992 consensus.”
An article published in Newsweek Japan on June 7 by Project 2049 Institute research fellow Ian Easton said in no uncertain terms that the troublemaker in the Taiwan Strait is Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), not President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文). Quite the slap in the face of the KMT, which is trying to stick that label on Tsai.
Furthermore, Panamanian and Paraguayan media have addressed Tsai as “the president of Taiwan” in their reports during her visit, and when European and US politicians talk about the nation, they talk about “Taiwan.”
When have they ever mentioned the detestable Republic of China (ROC) or “Chinese Taipei?”
Instead, the KMT — which is on its last leg and whose politicians talk insincerely about being Taiwanese and loving Taiwan during elections in an attempt to win a few more votes — treats the word “Taiwan” as if it were toxic.
When Tsai signed a guest book in Panama on Sunday last week, writing “President of Taiwan (ROC),” the KMT legislative caucus criticized her of belittling the nation.
According to the KMT, they are not belittling Taiwan when they talk about “Chinese Taipei” and “Taipei economic and trade offices,” but the DPP is when it calls a spade a spade and says “Taiwan”?
What kind of skewed logic is that?
If it is anyone who does not fit in in Taiwan, it is those who have made the choice to live here and are unwilling to live in China and become proper, upright Chinese, but continue to sell out Taiwan or expect Taiwanese to become Chinese.
However, the message coming from Taiwanese public opinion and the nation’s international allies is loud and clear: Tsai is the president of Taiwan, the “1992 consensus” is a fabrication and it is the leader of China who is the troublemaker in the Taiwan Strait, not the leader of Taiwan.
How long will it be before the KMT understands this and stops dancing to China’s tune?
Chang Kuo-tsai is a retired associate professor at National Hsinchu University of Education.
Translated by Perry Svensson
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