Thu, Oct 26, 2017 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

Justifying change

The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) telegram to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on the opening of the latter’s 19th National Congress stated the year as Oct. 17, 106 (2017).

KMT spokesperson Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) said: “This is the spirit of ‘one China, different interpretations.’ This is how past KMT chairmen have handled their congratulatory telegrams and the CCP has responded using the Western chronology. It is a matter of mutual understanding. It is also an expression of the spirit of the [so-called] ‘1992 consensus’ and ‘one China, different interpretations,’ and that the two sides are looking for an opening for dialogue based on their positions.”

He also said: “Chronology is secondary, the most important thing is that the CCP and the KMT can engage in cross-strait dialogue and substantive exchanges. A willingness to engage in dialogue is helpful to peaceful cross-strait development. By comparison, after one year and five months in power, [President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文)] administration is unwilling to accept the ‘1992 consensus,’ which has resulted in a freezing of cross-strait relations and even a dangerous move toward opposition, and the Taiwanese public finds this to be both worrying and difficult to accept.”

To resolve the divergence between the KMT and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), make a show of goodwill toward China and connect with the international community, Taiwan has two choices when it comes to the official chronology.

The KMT could introduce a bill stipulating that government institutions change the “Republic of China” to “China.” In that case the KMT could have written “China, Oct. 17, 2017” in its telegram to the CCP.

This would probably upset Beijing, though, because it would probably want it to say “China, Oct. 17, 4602” given its long history.

The second option would be for the DPP and the New Power Party to initiate a bill to bring Taiwan in line with the international community by introducing the Western chronology.

Then the KMT and other people sympathizing with the CPP would be able to write “Oct. 17, 2017” which would perhaps be more acceptable for the CCP.

Finally, we could then use the KMT’s own statement given above to justify this change to Taiwanese: “Chronology is secondary, the most important thing is that the CCP and the KMT can engage in cross-strait dialogue and substantive exchanges.”

Lai Yu-che

Hualien County

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