Taiwan will not give up the democracy it has achieved, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said in an interview as he expressed hope that the new leadership in China would have a more in-depth understanding of Taiwan.
Su made the remarks in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, stressing the fact that “Taiwan is an independent, sovereign country” that adheres to the democratic principle of government and that “no amount of money is worth losing our freedom and democracy, because those are Taiwan’s core values.”
Su said that Taiwan would face big changes from the transition of power within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — which is to culminate in a transition of power to the ascending “fifth-generation” CCP leaders — that is set to take place in the latter half of this year at the CCP’s 18th National Party Congress, as well as from the US’ presidential election, which is scheduled for December.
“We can see the that US considers the Asia-Pacific region [important] with its return to Asia policy,” Su said, adding that since the DPP is a political party of a country in the region, it has a responsibility to do its best for Taiwanese and Taiwan.
Speaking about Xi Jinping (習近平), the heir-apparent of Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), Su said: “I hope he will have a better understanding of Taiwan, adopt a more accommodating attitude and more modern approach to improve the relations between the two sides.”
Noting Xi’s extensive time working with China’s Fujian Provincial Government and significant contact with Taiwanese businesspeople in the area, Su said: “Hopefully, Taiwanese businessmen in China will be given better and more reasonable protection, and there will be less confrontations and more dialogues and exchanges.”
Saying his party is not averse to interacting with China and that he would like to welcome more Chinese to Taiwan to see for themselves what Taiwan is like, Su said the current problem with Beijing is that it interacts with only the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and is biased in its view toward Taiwan.
If China wants to understand Taiwan, then it has to come into contact with the DPP, which represents the majority of Taiwanese, Su said, adding that the DPP would also have to have a general understanding of China.
Su said the “Taiwan consensus” — an initiative he presented in April last year — if it were adopted, would increase cross-strait dialogue and understanding and replace confrontation with peace to cement democratic development.
Su said that as long as both sides of the Strait understood each other, harm and danger could be avoided.
He added that remarks by Chinese People’s Consultative Conference Chairman Jia Qinglin (賈慶林) proved China was cornering Taiwan on “one China.”
Jia said the core of the “one China” framework is that “the mainland and Taiwan belong to one country.”
The KMT has always preached the so-called “1992 consensus” on there being “one China, with each side having its own interpretation,” Su said, adding that China has taken the policy one step further and has not only ignored the “each side having its own interpretation” part, but replaced “one China” with “one country.”
This has deprived President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the chance to say that “one China” means the Republic of China, Su said.