Cross-strait relations are “special state-to-state relations” akin to the relations between West and East Germany, former grand justice Hsu Tzong-li (許宗力) yesterday told lawmakers during a review of his nomination to be head of the Judicial Yuan.
Hsu’s comment was in response to Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alicia Wang’s (王育敏) question on whether his opinions on cross-strait relations were similar to those of former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), citing Hsu’s 1996 article, “How Laws Influenced the Changes in Cross-Strait Relations and the Latest Developments” (兩岸關係法律定為百年來的演變與最新發展) in the The Taiwan Law Review (月旦法學雜誌).
Lee’s “special state-to-state” model of cross-strait relations, announced on July 8, 1999, was aimed at countering China’s description of Taiwan as a “renegade province.”
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
“Taiwan is a distinct sovereign independent nation separate from the People’s Republic of China [PRC] in Mainland China; its name is the Republic of China [ROC],” Hsu wrote in his article, adding: “The ROC is factually and legally independent from all other nations in the world, including the PRC.”
Hsu said he has always claimed “special state-to-state relations” and never used the phrase “two-state theory.”
When asked how his opinion differed from former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) “one China, with different interpretations” framework, Hsu said that Ma’s cross-strait model claimed sovereignty over China and outer Mongolia, or the Republic of Mongolia, but that his model did not.
Ma’s preferred model is also known as the so-called “1992 consensus,” a phrase that former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted to making up in 2000, which refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and Beijing that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
“Member of the Legislative Yuan, as well as the president, are elected by the 23 million people in Taiwan since 1991. We do not represent China. Therefore I think our sovereignty does not include mainland China,” Hsu said.
As for the distinction between the “Taiwan Area” and “Mainland Area” as stipulated in the Constitution, Hsu said that this was a political statement written into the Constitution and is not legally binding at the local government level, adding that were it legally binding, it would mean that Taiwanese would have to elect an “area administrator.”
New Power Party (NPP) Executive Director Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) asked Hsu about President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) executive initiatives.
Huang asked if Tsai’s High-Level Policy Coordination Meeting initiative — a body composed of the premier, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secretary-general, key members of the DPP caucus and think tanks — crosses a “red line” regarding constitutional limits on presidential powers.
“I believe it must operate under the constitutional framework and I agree that regulations will cause many difficulties for Tsai. I hope the legislature considers constitutional amendments,” Hsu said.
Huang expressed the concern that the High-Level Policy Coordination Meeting sessions might lead to “controversial constitutional disputes” and asked Hsu if he thought the sessions should proceed as planned.
“I believe it warrants further consideration,” Hsu said.
Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) later issued a statement saying that “Hsu was responding to the issue of how the president’s constitutional role and powers should correspond with political responsibility and the spirit of democratic politics, and he believes that certain constitutional requirements require further review and consideration.”
The spokesman dismissed claims that the High-Level Policy Coordination Meeting was an unconstitutional expansion of presidential powers, saying that the sessions would enhance the Cabinet’s policymaking and “should cause no concern with regard to the constitutional boundaries of the president.”
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations