Recent announcements by senior Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politicians proposing three alternatives to the so-called “1992 consensus” are “not a bad thing,” DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday.
“It’s not a bad thing for people within the party to communicate their ideas on dealing with [cross-strait] problems,” she said, one day after former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) unveiled his thoughts on a “Taiwan consensus,” following similar proposals floated by former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮).
Su, a possible contender in next year’s presidential election, yesterday said future cross-strait relations should be based on Taiwan’s democratic foundations and that any change to the “status quo” had to be settled by the 23 million Taiwanese.
“The [solution] to cross-strait problems ... is to find out the overarching public consensus and persevere in the values we find worthy,” Su said. “This is the democratic process.”
His “Taiwan consensus” reflects the view that “Taiwan is a sovereign country independent of the People’s Republic of China,” he said, adding that any change to the nation’s official title, the Republic of China (ROC), would require majority approval.
Claiming his ideas would appeal to voters on both sides of the political spectrum, Su said his consensus was closely connected with the DPP’s ideology as well as President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) New Year address, which called for Taiwanese to decide their future.
“With the development of cross-strait relations, bilateral cooperation is now inevitable ... but we must uphold the idea that while we can buy and sell anything, our sovereignty is something that can’t be bought or sold,” Su said.
“Those values will not change in the next dozen years or the next 120 years,” he added.
His remarks, interpreted by some DPP watchers as appealing to more moderate voters ahead of a possible presidential bid, has left Hsieh, who offered a “constitutional consensus” last month, scrambling to defend his earlier ideas.
According to a transcript of an upcoming interview he recorded yesterday with Era News, Hsieh said he believed his consensus, which calls for cross-strait relations to be based on the ROC Constitution, “surpassed [Su’s ideas].”
“Basically I believe that Su’s ideas are just modeled on the Resolution on Taiwan’s Future,” Hsieh said, referring to the 1999 resolution ratified by the DPP, an integral part of the party’s policy. “This isn’t a problem, but I believe we can go one step further.”