Fri, Oct 20, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Lawmakers pan KMT for avoiding ROC references in congratulatory CCP letter

‘ONE CHINA’ SHIBBOLETH:It was ‘stylistically absurd’ to omit ‘Year of the ROC’ and its understanding with the CCP is based on ‘self deception,’ Hsu Yung-ming said

By Shih Hsiao-kuang and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) congratulatory letter to the Chinese Communist Party ahead of its 19th National Congress, omitting the phrase “Year of the ROC” before the ROC calendar year at the end of the letter, is pictured on Wednesday.

Photo: Lin Liang-sheng, Taipei Times

Legislators yesterday criticized the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) for avoiding references to the Republic of China (ROC) in its congratulatory letter to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ahead of its 19th National Congress.

The KMT dated a letter to the CCP “October 17, 106 (2017),” without adding “Year of the ROC,” which is customary when using the ROC calendar year, which began in 1911 with the founding of the ROC.

The name ROC is also absent from proper text of the letter, despite stating the KMT’s position on cross-strait relations and its desire to engage in dialogue with the CPP.

The omission sparked outrage among netizens on Wednesday.

KMT spokesman Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) yesterday said the letter was written in a way that follows the spirit of the so-called “1992 consensus,” which he said acknowledges that there is only “one China” and that each side of the Taiwan Strait has its “own interpretation” of what that means.

The KMT and the CCP have a “mutual understanding” to avoid making references to the ROC and the People’s Republic of China in well-wishing notes, Hung said.

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration, not the KMT, is “harming 23 million Taiwanese” by failing to smooth cross-strait relations and allowing the Mainland Affairs Council to atrophy, Hung said.

“The KMT absolutely does not belittle the ROC or make it disappear,” he said, adding that netizens should judge the Tsai administration by the same standards that they judge the KMT.

It was “stylistically absurd” of the KMT to omit the words “Year of the ROC” when using the ROC calendar and its mutual understanding with the CCP is based on “self-deception,” New Power Party Legislator Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said.

“The KMT has little tricks. To the CCP, they are meaningless. To Taiwanese, they are the butt of jokes. The KMT is the only party in the world that buys into that shibboleth about ‘one China’ and each side having its own interpretation,” Hsu said. “This letter shows that attempt to pry the name ‘China’ from the CCP is a nonstarter. Our path is to normalize Taiwan as a nation.”

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said on Facebook that the absence of the ROC in the letter belies the KMT’s patriotic rhetoric of respecting the ROC and the flag.

“The KMT’s flattering self-characterization of what it did as in ‘the spirit of the 1992 consensus’ is utter nonsense. The ‘1992 consensus’ is the KMT’s own deception. There was no consensus,” Lin said.

However, former presidential office spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) said the Tsai administration did not use the ROC calendar or refer to the nation in its letter of condolence to China in August after an earthquake in Sichuan.

“Where is the ROC in the correspondence sent by the DPP-run Straits Exchange Foundation? Why was ‘our nation’ substituted with ‘our side’? Is Tsai the chief executive of an area or a side?” Lo said.

The “1992 consensus,” a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000, refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and the CCP that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

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