A pro-independence group, the Taiwan Professors Association (TPA, 台灣教授協會), unveiled a draft "Constitution of the Republic of Taiwan" on Sunday which would create a presidential system and a three-branch government, and would allow the residents of Kinmen and Matsu the right of "self-determination" regarding the status of their islands.
The draft constitution also stipulates that the four major ethnic groups in Taiwan -- Aborigines, Hakka, Hoklo and Mainlanders -- should be referred to as the "people of Taiwan," and that the nation's territory should include Taiwan proper and Penghu.
As for the outlying islands of Kinmen and Matsu, their future -- whether to opt for independence, come under the authority of Taiwan or return to China -- should be decided by the residents through referendum.
"The constitutional draft aims to offer a new vision of the nation for the people of Taiwan. And when people want to think about the constitution issue, we are happy to let them know that a constitutional text is already prepared for them," Chen I-Shen (
Chen is a TPA member and one of the constitution's drafters. He is also the Northern Taiwan Society's deputy chairman and a research fellow at Academia Sinica.
"We hope both the ruling parties and the opposition parties will spend time thinking about this issue. But we will not try to force them to adopt our version," Chen said.
From a historical perspective, Chen said, Taiwan and Penghu, which were ceded to Japan in 1895 by the Qing Dynasty, were a community sharing a common destiny, while Kinmen and Matsu have been bound to Taiwan and Penghu as a result of the political power of the authoritarian regime of Chiang Kai-shek (
Besides, in light of strategic conditions, Chen added, Kinmen and Matsu could no longer have too much influence in guaranteeing Taiwan's security, which has also been suggested by former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Shih Ming-teh (
On the contrary, the two islands might become crucial points that could be used to force Taiwan to surrender to China should a war break out, Chen said.
Chang Cheng-shuh (
Noticeably, one constitutional clause was dubbed the "Ma Ying-jeou clause" (
Chang said bluntly that this clause was included as a result of Taipei Mayor Ma, who intentionally turned a blind eye to the pan-blue camp's illegal protests in front of the Presidential Office after the March 20 presidential election, and his attempts to defy the decisions made by the central government.
Taiwan Solidarity Union caucus whip Huang Chung-yuan (
"But according to former president Lee Teng-hui's (