Tue, Aug 13, 2019 - Page 8 News List

ROC name merely a political tool

By Lin Tai-ho 林泰和

Former premier Simon Chang (張善政), now convener of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential nominee Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) national policy advisory team, on July 30 proposed the concept of “constitutional one China, prioritizing Taiwan” for cross-strait relations. The proposal contradicts itself and will neither “prioritize Taiwan” nor “unite Taiwanese.”

The concept of “constitutional one China” has an interim and a provisional nature, and runs contrary to international fact and jurisprudential reasoning.

The very first sentence of the Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China (ROC) states that the legislative purpose is “to meet the requisites of the nation prior to national unification.”

The statement sets the “one China” tone for the Constitution, according to which the government exercises effective rule in “the free area of the Republic of China,” while the other area is called “the Chinese mainland area,” which includes the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Article 2 of the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) defines the “Taiwan Area” as “Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and any other area under the effective control of the Government,” and the “‘Mainland Area refers to the territory of the Republic of China outside the Taiwan Area.”

According to these definitions, Taiwan is only a tiny portion of the ROC under the current Constitution, and it exists to fulfill “the requisites of the nation prior to national unification.”

Following this logic, Taiwan only has an instrumental value, which is to serve the purpose of national unification, while the definition of the “Mainland Area” of the ROC further strips Taiwan of its subjectivity, not to mention “prioritizing Taiwan.”

Under the current constitutional system, the ROC is the only legitimate government representing China, but the Constitution itself cannot be applied to all China, which means that as long as the Constitution exists, it will be of an interim and provisional nature.

A constitution such as this cannot unify and consolidate the will of all Taiwanese, nor can it produce identification with Taiwan.

When the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany came into effect in the Western Allies’ zones of occupation in 1949, it was not intended to be adopted by all Germany or to serve as a permanent constitution.

Precisely because of the Basic Law’s interim and provisional nature, it could not generate a sense of integration or identification with Germany.

When Germans were asked in a 1959 survey which period they considered to be Germany’s most glorious, the highest acclaim went to the German Empire, established in 1871, followed by Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1939 and the Weimar Republic from 1918 to 1933. The Federal Republic of Germany, established in 1949 based on the spirit of democracy, freedom and human rights did not make it onto the list.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime established the Chinese Soviet Republic in 1931 and fought the ROC — which it regarded as a tool of Western imperialism — by creating “two Chinas.”

From the CCP’s perspective, the ROC was officially eradicated in 1949, a view that was confirmed by Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), who, on March 13, 1950, said that, “at the end of last year, the Republic of China was subjugated together with the mainland and ceased to exist.”

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