The Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) acceptance of independence as a possible choice for the nation was yesterday lauded by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (
Wang, who competed with Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for the KMT chairmanship last July, had in the past claimed that Taiwanese independence should not be ruled out. Some pro-unification elements within the party had used the comments to criticize Wang during the chairmanship campaign.
"I am happy to see the inclusion [of de jure independence] as one of the choices," Wang said.
PHOTO: SUNG CHIH-HSIUNG, TAIPEI TIMES
"The inclusion at least shows that [Ma] has recognized the facts. In a country that has democracy and freedom, the people have the right to decide the nation's future, even though now is not the right time to decide on our ultimate goal, be it independence or unification," he said.
However, Wang questioned the decision-making process, saying that Ma should have discussed the matter within the party before making his policy known to the public through a newspaper advertisement. The ad in question was run on the front page of the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister newspaper) on Tuesday.
It said that, "the KMT firmly believes that, in keeping with the spirit of democracy, there are many options for Taiwan's future, be it reunification, independence or the status quo. It is necessary that the choice be made by the people."
"I was not involved in making the decision. If this really is the KMT's policy, Ma should put the issue on the agenda of the party's decision-making mechanism," Wang said.
But not every KMT heavyweight was pleased with the implication that the KMT accepted independence as an option.
Former KMT chairman Lien Chan (
It was absurd that Ma would include this position among the KMT's policies, Lien said.
The KMT's policy revision could damage its cooperative relationship with another member of the pan-blue alliance, the People First Party (PFP), which is opposed to Taiwanese independence.
PFP Legislator Chang Hsien-yao (
Chang declined to spell out what he meant by "consequences," adding that "the PFP is still hoping that the KMT will explain whether it supports Taiwanese independence or not."
"Given our long-term cooperative relationship, the KMT should have told us before it decides to implement such an important policy. And now we wish they would explain it," Chang said.
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