Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) might not talk about Taiwan independence as often as some would like, but there are “no shortcomings” in her China policy, World United Formosans for Independence (WUFI) chairman Ng Chiau-tong (黃昭堂) told the Taipei Times in a recent interview.
The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) criticism of the DPP presidential candidate’s China policy is “narrow-minded, mean and out of focus,” the 79-year-old Ng said, referring to the KMT’s sustained criticism of Tsai’s policy in recent weeks.
Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), tapped by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to be his running mate in January’s presidential election, recently said Tsai’s advocacy of Taiwanese was “only rhetoric that she dare not implement.”
Meanwhile, King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), executive director of Ma’s re-election campaign, said Tsai “would not dare include ‘no independence’ as part of her campaign platform.”
“Tsai might not address the issues much publicly, but if you break down her speeches and read between the lines, you will know that she would do everything to protect Taiwan’s sovereignty,” Ng said.
Tsai has also said she would not stop economic engagement with China and that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed in June last year should be reviewed by the legislature in line with the WTO’s multilateral framework, Ng said.
In terms of Tsai’s position on independence, Ng said she has maintained a moderate and patient approach to appeal to voters, most of whom draw a connection between supporting independence and the increased risk of military conflict with China.
Ng said the DPP’s position as a party on the status of the country has been stated very clearly — Taiwan is an independent and sovereign country with the current name of the Republic of China (ROC) — as it said in its resolution on the nation’s future in 1999.
This means that “the DPP’s policy is to maintain the ‘status quo,’ rather than establishing a Republic of Taiwan anytime soon,” Ng said.
According to Ng, Tsai has been criticized by the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party for her support of Taiwan independence and “running for the president of the ROC with the Republic of Taiwan in mind.”
While Ma has reiterated his “no independence” position to appeal to Beijing, Ma should understand that the ROC is an independent political entity outside the jurisdiction of China, Ng said.
“Bear in mind that an independent ROC is also unacceptable for China,” Ng added.
A self-proclaimed supporter of “swift independence” when he was younger, Ng said the eventual goal of the WUFI would be “removing the ROC political system, which was forced upon Taiwanese by the regime of [former president] Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) after the end of World War II.”
Ng, who has served as WUFI chairman since 1995, has since adopted a more moderate approach, saying that the removal of the ROC system would take time and could not occur without a healthy combination of domestic political development, global trends and, most of all, the consensus and will of the public.
“The ROC is like a cap on the top of our head. If it’s rainy, we’ll have to wear it for now, but we are waiting for a sunny day to take it off,” he said.
Most people don’t want to risk their lives, families and property to achieve independence, as peace is a universal value nowadays, Ng added.