Tue, Apr 29, 2008 - Page 3 News List

TSU vows to keep tabs on cross-strait ties

THREE PRINCIPLES While concern was raised over Lai Shin-yuan’s political position, Huang Kun-huei said such concern was based on a lack of understanding of the TSU

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) chairman yesterday vowed he would request Mainland Affairs Council chairwoman-designate Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) withdraw from her position if the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration fails to uphold the basic principles it promised to the party when dealing with cross-strait relations.

“As a responsible opposition party, we will continue to monitor the performance of the KMT government closely,” said TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝).

Huang said president-elect Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) visited him on Sunday night to ask for his approval of Lai’s appointment. Huang said they talked for about an hour and he laid down three principles for cross-strait policy, which Ma agreed with.

The KMT government must promise to safeguard national dignity, take care of the interest of the Taiwanese people and manifest Taiwan-centered consciousness, Huang said.

“We don’t have any problem with recalling her if the Ma administration violates those three principles,” Huang said. “For us, her recruitment to the new government is like one of our daughters marrying into a new family and we will not punish her, like other political parties, for joining the KMT government.”

Huang said Ma told him that he was impressed by Lai’s performance in the legislature, her clean image, professionalism and competence. Lai’s experience at the National Security Council, negotiation skills at the WTO and in-depth knowledge of cross-strait relations made an impression on Ma, Huang said.

Describing his conversation with Ma as “rational,” Huang said it ushered in a new era of politics and political cooperation. In order to promote unity and harmony among political parties, Huang said he proposed that Ma call regular meetings with party leaders. Huang said Ma did not give a definite answer but said his proposal deserved consideration.

Huang said that Lai was surprised at Ma’s offer but decided to join the KMT administration as a TSU member. She does not hold any party position and will not partake in any party-related activities in the future, Huang said.

While concern was raised over her political position, Huang said such concern was based on a lack of understanding of the TSU, which has transformed itself from embracing die-hard pro-independence to pursuing the “center left” path.

As for the attitude of former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), the spiritual leader of TSU, Huang said Lee thought a professional talent must serve the country, not just a party.

Meanwhile, Lai yesterday said that she shouldn’t have any problem cooperating with the KMT administration and pushing its cross-strait agenda because she sees eye to eye with the president-elect.

Lai said she agreed with Ma’s theory of “no unification, no independence and no military force” and concurred that the status quo of the Republic of China must be maintained.

She also agreed with Ma that cross-strait relations must develop on the foundation that Taiwan’s interest is put first, the people of Taiwan benefit from it and Taiwan-centered consciousness is protected.

Lai said while it was necessary to further ease restrictions on cross-strait trade, the government must minimize the negative impact.

When asked about the concerns over her appointment, Lai said that it was indeed a challenge and she would like to call on her opponents to judge her by her performance.

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