The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday hit back at the Presidential Office for its criticism of the party’s latest discourse on Taiwan-China ties as “empty talk” that offered no vision for addressing critical cross-strait issues.
“The criticism proved that the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) lacks introspection for its policies of the past three years,” DPP spokesperson Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said, adding that “the Ma government’s ‘pro-China’ label is a product of a series of erroneous policies and lack of understanding of Taiwan’s liberty and democracy.”
Chen made the remarks in response to a statement issued by the Presidential Office on Wednesday evening dismissing the DPP’s new cross-strait discourse.
On Wednesday, the DPP presented a new cross-strait discourse in which DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) suggested a larger framework for cross-strait ties, which she said are not just about Taiwan and China.
Claiming Ma’s policies over the past three years have all been designed around China, Tsai said that the DPP would not restrict Taiwan-China issues to a “cross-strait structure” or a “historical framework.”
She did not elaborate on the “historical framework” but was apparently referring to the “one China” concept or the so-called “1992 consensus.”
The Presidential Office said during the DPP’s eight years in power, it was unable to effectively deal with any pressing cross-strait issues. Tsai’s new discourse gave no indication of progress by the party in this regard, it said.
If the DPP continues to maintain that “the present Republic of China [ROC] government in Taiwan is a government in exile” and refuses to recognize the validity of the ROC Constitution and the “1992 consensus,” the party would never be able to pragmatically address the challenges faced by Taiwan, the Presidential Office said.
The statement added that Ma’s modus vivendi approach has helped ease cross-strait tensions and maintain regional peace. All these achievements have won praise at home and abroad, the statement said. Tsai’s criticism of the administration’s policy as leaning toward cross-strait unification was not plausible, it added.
Hitting back, Cheng said the Ma government has, for the past three years, taken the wrong path concerning cross-strait and diplomatic policies.
The long-term bases for Taiwan’s development are liberty and democracy, but the Ma administration failed to see that, Cheng said.
“They’ve led us into the ‘one-China’ framework, thinking peace meant unity,” Cheng said.
In response to Cheng’s remarks that the KMT is “pro-China,” Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) later yesterday demanded the DPP specify which Ma administration policies it considered “pro-China.”
“Is it cross-strait travel that allows Chinese tourists to come to Taiwan, the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement [ECFA], or the Agricultural Product Inspection and Quarantine Agreement?” Su asked, questioning whether the DPP would continue these policies if it came to power.
Su challenged the DPP to publicly announce that should it come to power, it would reverse these policies if it considered any of them to be “pro-China.”
“Do not deceive Taiwan’s people with slogans and smearing the party in power, or the DPP could be embarrassed to have no policy when the two parties compare policies,” Su said.