Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of being undemocratic when it comes to dealing with cross-strait relations, following KMT and Presidential Office criticism of her China policy.
“We are a nation, we are a democracy, and cross-strait relations should be handled on a government-to-government basis, with the government taking the lead, not a political party taking the lead through secret negotiations,” Tsai said yesterday. “What happens now is just the opposite: The KMT first reaches an agreement with China, and connives in every way possible to force [Taiwan’s] government and the public to accept it.”
“This is not the decisionmaking process that the public would expect in a democracy,” she added.
Tsai was responding to criticism from the KMT and the Presidential Office of her earlier remarks that the KMT has turned cross-strait relations into party-to-party relations with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
KMT spokesman Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) on Friday night said that Tsai’s remarks were baseless, adding that — for the KMT — cross-strait relations have always been between “Taiwan and the mainland,” as well as between “the people of Taiwan and the people of the mainland.”
He said that Tsai was unable to offer a more forward-looking and responsible direction for cross-strait policy, adding that she was “twisting others’ ideas.”
Meanwhile, in addition to emphasizing that cross-strait relations are not a party-to-party issue, Presidential Office spokesman Charles Chen (陳以信) said that Tsai should understand that the “status quo” can be maintained only by recognizing the so-called “1992 consensus.”
“Tsai has just said that she would like to maintain the ‘status quo,’ but she has to understand that it is under the 1992 consensus that the peaceful and stable status quo of ‘no unification, no independence and no use of force’ is maintained,” Chen said on Friday night. “I believe that, since Tsai has served as Mainland Affairs Council minister, she certainly would not have missed such a simple thing.”
The so-called “1992 consensus” refers to a tacit agreement allegedly reached between Taiwanese and Chinese negotiators in 1992 that both sides would recognize that there is only “one China,” but each could make its own interpretation of what “China” means. Former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted in 2000 that he had made up the term “1992 consensus.”
Separately yesterday, when asked to comment on Tsai’s remarks that the KMT government has been conflating relations between the KMT and the CCP with cross-strait ties, KMT Chairman and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) said that it is in Taiwan’s best interest not to link party ideology to cross-strait affairs.
“Cross-strait relations should not be constrained by ideology and should be free from party or individual maneuvering,” Chu said.
Chu said cross-strait relations mean relations between Taiwan and China.
KMT-CCP relations are ties between the political parties, similar to the links between civic groups and between cities on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, he said. People should not confuse the ties or try to “discredit” the KMT-CCP links, Chu added.
Chu also confirmed that he is to lead his party’s delegation to the KMT’s annual forum with the CCP on May 2 and May 3 in Shanghai.