Wed, Jan 12, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Pro-independence groups rebuke Hsieh constitution proposal

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff reporter

Ten of the nation’s largest pro--independence organizations yesterday issued a blunt rebuke to former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) over his suggestion that Taiwan use the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution in future negotiations with China.

The Taiwan Society, Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan and other groups said Hsieh’s ideas on a “constitutional consensus” would undermine Taiwan’s sovereignty.

Hsieh, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Standing Committee member, said on Monday that a new accord was needed to replace the disputed “1992 consensus” used by the government as a foundation for cross-strait talks.

His proposal implicitly asks DPP supporters to accept the ROC’s sovereignty over Taiwan as the “greatest common denominator.”

Hsieh’s proposal can “never be accepted” and would likely not help in cross-strait relations, the groups said in a statement. The “constitutional consensus” would undermine Taiwan’s sovereignty movement and cause more confusion over the country’s international status, they said.

“Hsieh clearly knows that accepting the ROC Constitution would draw a distinction between [Taiwan’s] national sovereignty and national governance,” the statement said, ostensibly referring to clauses in the document that include territory controlled by the People’s Republic of China as part of the ROC.

“There are also serious contradictions within the ROC Constitution on historical jurisdiction and [the current] geographical jurisdiction,” the statement said. “These [contradictions] show just how shaky the grounds are on which Hsieh’s proposal is based.”

In a not so subtle warning against politicians within the DPP that support Hsieh, the statement also said that pro-independence backers would likely reconsider their support for Hsieh if he continued to make statements that “harmed Taiwan’s sovereignty.”

Hsieh said on his Web site yesterday morning that a “constitutional consensus” would help protect Taiwan against pressure for unification with China, which he said was “subtly taking place.”

“My [proposal] is to search for an accord with supporters of the ‘status quo’ to achieve a consensus that is supported by the majority of Taiwanese,” Hsieh said.

Meanwhile, Presidential Office Spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) said President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) attitude toward the “1992 consensus” had been consistent and that the administration would insist on the “three noes” under that framework and the Constitution.

The “three noes,” a pledge Ma made during his 2008 presidential election campaign, refer to no discussion of unification with Beijing during Ma’s presidency, no pursuit or support of de jure independence and no use of military force to resolve the Taiwan issue.

As for the definition of the so-called “1992 consensus,” Lo said the administration’s position has been that there is only “one China” and that both sides of the Strait had its own interpretation of what “one China” means.

Former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) said in February 2006 that he had invented the consensus in 2000 in order to break the cross-strait deadlock.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY KO SHU-LING

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