Former National Security Council secretary-general Su Chi (蘇起) yesterday urged the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to take the initiative and work with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to come up with what he called a “Taiwan consensus” before Taipei and Beijing can enter negotiations on thorny issues such as Taiwan’s sovereignty.
Describing the relationship between Taiwan, the US and China as “the big triangle” and that between the DPP, the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as “the small triangle,” Su said that while “the big triangle” is generally stable, “the small triangle” is much less so, mainly because the DPP does not talk with the KMT or the CCP.
“This problem of the DPP … stems mainly from the fact that inside the DPP, there is no consensus,” he said in English during an international symposium in Taipei.
“The leadership of DPP [Chairperson] Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) or former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) never made any serious effort to forge a consensus inside the DPP,” Su said.
He said some DPP members, especially the party elite, had begun to realize that China and the world were changing as were the public will and needs. They also realize that “the Taiwan independence movement may be desirable, but may not so feasible than it used to be.”
“Those elites are beginning to think otherwise, but they dare not speak up … and they are still the minority,” he said.
Su said he was encouraged by Tsai’s decision to establish a think tank to study cross-strait issues and forge a consensus within the party.
Tsai last week announced the creation of a party think tank that will look at external relations, including, but not limited to, China.
The lack of consensus inside the DPP has “not only dragged down the DPP, but also dragged down the Taiwan consensus because if there is no consensus in the DPP, there can be no Taiwan consensus because the DPP and the KMT don’t talk to each other,” he said.
“I hope she [Tsai] will establish an intra-DPP consensus and then I hope the DPP would begin to talk to the KMT and simultaneously talk to the CCP, so we’ll have a solid line triangle,” he said. “In that case, I’m not so naive to think that the conversations or dialogues will yield any positive thing … but I do know that lack of communication or lack of dialogue will cause misunderstanding and hostility.”
If the talks between the DPP and KMT reach a certain point, Su said the two parties might come to what he called a “Taiwan consensus” and then Taiwan can negotiate with China on more complicated problems such as the “one China” issue and Taiwan’s sovereignty.
If these issues cannot be resolved, Su said that “there is no way that Taipei and Beijing can sit down and negotiate,” and without negotiations, cross-strait relations will be in stalemate, if not jeopardized.
Other issues such as Taiwan’s international space, a military confidence-building mechanism and a peace agreement cannot be discussed with China if the DPP cannot come to an internal agreement, he said.
“If President Ma [Ying-jeou (馬英九)] is to be re-elected, I don’t think he can single-handedly handle these issues. That era has long gone,” he said. “That’s the internal Taiwan road map I see.”
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