PEACE PACT POLEMIC: Tsai urges Ma to launch talks on Referendum Act

By Jake Chung  /  Staff Writer, with CNA

Sat, Oct 22, 2011 - Page 1

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday invited President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to initiate cross-party talks within one week on amending the Referendum Act (公民投票法) to include articles requiring that cross-strait political negotiations be subject to referendums.

Speaking at a press conference at DPP headquarters in Taipei, the DPP presidential candidate said cross-strait talks should not happen unless both sides approached the table without political preconditions. Any political discussion that is relevant toward the definition of a country must hold to “three musts” — must have sovereignty, must be democratic and must be peaceful — and be subjected to a nationwide referendum, she said.

As party chairperson, Tsai said she was extending an invitation to Ma, who doubles as the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman, to initiate bipartisan talks on amendments to the act.

Working together, both parties could amend the act to include articles regulating any cross-strait political negotiations before the current legislative session ends, Tsai said, adding that it was the only way to ensure that any political cross-strait negotiations would not go ahead without public consent.

Ma, as the head of state, should not be ambiguous about cross-strait ties, nor should he take a rash approach to such issues, Tsai said, referring to Ma’s comments on Monday about the possibility of a cross-strait peace agreement and promise on Thursday to hold a referendum.

Tsai also quoted Ma as saying during an interview with Internationale Politik in 2009 that “the prerequisites to cross-strait political negotiations are respect for Taiwan’s democratic system, the admission that the Republic of China is still extant, the giving up of pre-set political conditions and the disarmament of all missiles aimed at Taiwan.”

If Ma recalled that interview, then he should not accept Beijing’s “one China” principle and the so-called “1992 consensus” as political preconditions, Tsai said.

The “peaceful and stable interactive framework” the DPP has proposed to establish with China in the past was not the same thing as Ma’s proposed peace pact, Tsai said, because the DPP proposal was from the viewpoint of a sovereign country, but Ma’s appeared to be aimed at concluding a civil war under the “one China” principle.