Participants at a forum yesterday urged the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government to pay full heed to Taiwan’s sovereignty in its dealings with China.
Taiwan New Century Foundation chairman Chen Lung-chu (陳隆志) listed a number of what he called vital suggestions for the new KMT government in dealing with cross-strait relations.
Commenting on President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) promise in his May 20 inaugural address that Taiwan would not advocate independence, unification or the use of force in cross-strait relations, Chen suggested that the KMT government stand firm on the position that Taiwan is an independent state because it is not part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The government must also push China to recognize the cross-strait status quo, that is, there is one independent state on each side of the Strait, he said.
This must be done to help Taiwan avoid being swallowed up by China under the “1992 consensus” pretext of allowing each side to have its “own interpretation” of the so-called “one China” policy, Chen said.
He also said that the administration must continue to seek participation in international bodies, including the UN, using the name Taiwan, and pursue global support and recognition for the country.
He suggested that the new government do its best to ease Taiwan’s economic over-reliance on the Chinese market by diversifying Taiwan’s industrial development.
Taiwan Foundation for Democracy Deputy chief executive Tung Li-wen (董立文) said that the KMT government faced great challenges in its China policy.
Tung predicted that it would be difficult for Ma to shrug off the KMT’s pro-China stance and its interference in the government’s Chinese affairs as the KMT had set up an exchange mechanism with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) via a party-to-party platform over the past eight years.
China is pinning its hopes on the KMT to bring Taiwan closer to China, as evidenced by KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung’s (吳伯雄) upcoming visit to China at the invitation of the CCP General Secretary Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), he said.
He pointed out that the KMT-CCP platform would edge out Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation and its Chinese counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, in future cross-strait interactions.
Tung also said that Beijing would attempt to lure the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and do whatever it could to divert the DPP from its pro-independence stance and use it to contain the KMT.
Commenting on Ma’s plans to open Taiwan wider to China on a range of fronts, such as direct weekend charter flights and allowing more Chinese tourists and students into the country, Tung warned that broader economic cross-strait exchanges would increasingly push Taiwan toward an M-shaped society and that an influx of cheap Chinese products would further sharpen the divide between rich and poor in Taiwan.
Paul Lin (林保華), a political analyst, said that the CCP’s efforts to build closer links with the KMT were aimed at upgrading the KMT’s status in cross-strait exchanges to take precedence over official agencies and downgrade the country’s sovereignty.