Mon, Jan 31, 2011 - Page 3 News List

INTERVIEW: Frank Hsieh explains his ‘constitutional consensus’ proposal

Former premier Frank Hsieh caused a stir with his proposal to use a ‘constitutional consensus’ as the new basis for cross-strait dialogue. In an interview with ‘Taipei Times’ staff reporters Huang Tai-lin and Vincent Y. Chao on Tuesday, Hsieh went into greater detail on his idea. This is the second part of the interview

Huang Tai-lin and Vincent Y. Chao

TT: Does all of this fall in part of the gray areas idea that you were advocating earlier?

Hsieh: The entire Constitution has many gray areas; it’s not just me who believes in the gray areas. In part, this is also why there are so many complexities in the cross-strait relationship.

We are clear on our part that we are a separate sovereign nation. But there are questions over this internationally; there are even concerns on whether the ROC is a legitimate government. All of this is complex, which is why we can choose to avoid dealing with some of these matters.

[Both sides] should keep some imagination, we can say what we want and they can say what they want. The thing that we cannot forget is our sovereignty and our country’s integrity.

TT: Could China not also have its own plans, first attacking Taiwanese independence, and then dealing with the ROC through its “Anti-Secession” Law?

Hsieh: This is why I have said before that while [Taiwanese independence advocates] are their No. 1 enemy, status quo supporters are right behind them, at No. 2. This is also the reason why I have advocated that these two factions join together, to fight against China.

Both of these factions are already public enemy No. 1 and public enemy No. 2. But here we are, still having disagreements between the two, even now. There is no reason for the supporters of the “status quo” to be happy, either way; they are next.

Between the two, I really don’t see [where the large disagreement is]. The only difference is really just on what we are called, if we have already accepted that this is our country and that the 23 million people who live here in Taiwan are our citizens. Even while there might be objections to changing our name, these issues are ones that can be discussed and figured out.

As a result, the very least that should happen is that both of these factions should work together to defend against unification efforts with China. However, we are still fighting about these [resolvable issues] even while the [tide is turning] against us. Soon, even young people will change their opinions.

When the DPP governed [between 2000 and 2008], we did many things to increase recognition [of our country]. For instance, we instituted education revisions and promoted Taiwanese awareness. All of this is gone now and I believe in another 10, 20 years, our current public opinion [in favor of Taiwan] will change. I’m very concerned about this.

TT: Have you ever thought about expressing your ideas in the form of a new political movement, for example, in another political party, if your proposal is unable to gain traction within the DPP.

Hsieh: I think that I still have some more space [to express these proposals] within the DPP. If I came out to form my own party, I’m sure that many people would join and that it would have a certain amount of influence, but I don’t think that this is in the Taiwan’s long-term interest.

What I need to do is find the overlapping consensus, even within the DPP. It’s not like every member shares the same opinion.

This is the final part of the interview. Part one was published in Sunday’s edition.

This story has been viewed 5238 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top