Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) yesterday dismissed allegations that the KMT was selling out Taiwan, saying it was instead protecting the sovereignty of the Republic of China (ROC) when dealing with China.
Wu said he would not brook being “wrongfully” accused by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of doing something he did not do simply because he did not agree with the opposition and he said he hoped the DPP would reciprocate.
“I hope they will sit down and talk rationally,” Wu said. “We all love Taiwan and we all want peace across the Taiwan Strait, but it’s a fact that the two sides have differences and while it is difficult to iron them out, why can’t we focus more on the areas on which we agree and can cooperate, and leave those more difficult issues for later?”
Wu made the remarks while meeting reporters at his foundation yesterday morning.
Rejecting the DPP’s claim that the KMT was selling out Taiwan, Wu said the party had upheld “fundamental principles” when dealing with China.
“How would it be possible to sell out Taiwan and undermine its sovereignty?” he asked. “What we have been doing is conducive to maintaining the ‘status quo’ across the Taiwan Strait.”
On the theme on cross-strait relations, Wu said he hoped Nanjing University’s research center on ROC history would publish a book correctly chronicling the history of the ROC.
“The ROC is present continuous tense, not past tense,” Wu said. “As China prepares to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution this year, it is inevitable the celebrations will touch on the ROC issue.”
Wu admitted he had proposed to authorities in Beijing that the two sides jointly hold centennial celebrations, but his proposal was turned down.
“It is easy to talk about economic and cultural issues [with China], but when it comes to political ones it is more difficult,” he said. “They often tell me that they understand our position, but they also hope that in public we focus more on the areas on which we agree and less on those on which we disagree.”
It requires wisdom and goodwill to resolve cross-strait problems, Wu said, adding that only by doing so can you turn a crisis into an opportunity. Wu said there are voices in Beijing that say China has extended sufficient goodwill to Taiwan, but received little in return.
“They are also under a lot of pressure because there are different opinions,” Wu said. “I think we are pretty convincing when we express our position, but it is not easy for them to turn our suggestions into policy.”
Therefore, communications are important, he said.
Beijing must realize that one election could change the political landscape in Taiwan, Wu said.
“The bottom line is I don’t want to see them interfere in any of our elections,” he said.
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