The pan-green camp yesterday lashed out at former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Wu Poh-hsiung’s (吳伯雄) “one country, two areas (一國兩區)” comments while meeting Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) in Beijing on Thursday, saying it was a virtual elimination of the Republic of China (ROC) and an ill-intentioned step toward unification.
Wu met Hu in Beijing at the annual forum between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party, during which he proposed that cross-strait matters be tackled using a “one country, two areas” formula.
Taiwan’s current cross-strait policy is based on the Act Governing Relations Between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), which Wu said has “one country, two areas” as its legal basis.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said the initiative has taken the KMT’s previous position of “one China, with different interpretations” a step further, acknowledging that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to “one country.”
“The DPP has always maintained that Taiwan is a sovereign country with the name the Republic of China and that any change in the ‘status quo’ must be decided by the Taiwanese people,” DPP spokesperson Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) told a press conference.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who doubles as KMT chairman, should explain whether he authorized Wu to submit the initiative and whether he agrees with the proposal, Lo said.
The most detrimental impact of was not self-belittlement, but the “implication that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one country, which is an obvious change in the ‘status quo’ and a betrayal of the mainstream of public opinion,” Lo said.
If Wu’s comments represent Ma’s view, “Ma, who has said Taiwan’s future should be determined by its 23 million people, has now formally abandoned and eliminated the ROC and violated his own pledge,” Lo said.
“To say that both sides belong to one country is an ‘overinterpretation’ of the Constitution,” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said. “The description of ‘one country’ would very likely be interpreted by the international community that the ‘country’ refers to the People’s Republic of China [PRC], since the majority of countries recognize the PRC.”
Citing unnamed sources, DPP Legislator Hsueh Ling (薛凌) said Beijing had begun work on a “2012 consensus” that allegedly provides a clearer definition of “one China.”
Beijing would try to turn the “vague” so-called “1992 consensus,” which represents “one China, with different interpretations,” into a new consensus which represents “one China, with an agreed interpretation,” she said.
China would begin to promote the initiative in Taiwan through academics, the media and organizations it privately sponsors, Hsueh said.
“We may accept ‘one system, two countries’ or ‘one area, two countries,’ but we would never accept ‘one country, two areas’ or ‘one country, two systems,’” DPP Legislator Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀) said, adding that Wu may have committed an offense against state security.
The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) described the initiative as “the Treaty of Shimonoseki in the 21st century,” and an act that jeopardizes Taiwan’s sovereignty.
TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝), a former Mainland Affairs Council chairman, said the Act Governing Relations Between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area had been enacted “with the implication of a state-to-state legal framework.”