Mon, Dec 05, 2011 - Page 3 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: ‘Consensus’ polarizing, analyst says

BOXED IN:Tung Li-wen, a Taiwan Thinktank consultant, said it is crucial for Taiwan’s democracy that people are allowed to support either unification or independence

By Chen Hui-ping and Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporters, with Agencies

The so-called “1992 consensus” upheld by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has become a tool that divides Taiwan, said Tung Li-wen (董立文), a Taiwan Thinktank consultant specializing in China matters.

Tung made the remarks yesterday at a press conference hosted by the Taiwan Brain Trust to discuss the performance of Ma, Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) in Saturday’s televised presidential debate.

Saying that the pro-unification and pro-Taiwan independence positions both enjoy support, Tung added that it is crucial to Taiwan’s democracy that every person can proclaim his or her own opinion and that Taiwan’s future is decided via a democratic mechanism.

“That President Ma Ying-jeou dared others to support [his] idea of ‘no unification, no independence,’ is an act tantamount to killing the ability of Taiwanese to choose their future. It not only harms Taiwan’s democracy, it also deepens the blue-green division and becomes a tool that Ma can use to tear Taiwan apart,” Tung said.

Tung was referring to the statement made by Ma during the debate in which he, after stating that his “three noes” position — no unification, no independence and no use of force — along with the “1992 consensus,” can solve cross-strait problems, asked whether Tsai dared to say “no independence.”

Adding that he was surprised the three candidates did not focus more on cross-strait issues, Tung said it might be because the three are still trying to figure out each other’s real intent and position on cross-strait relations.

According to a TVBS poll, Ma outperformed his rivals in the debate with 30 percent of viewers saying he won the debate, compared with 27 percent who said Tsai had the best performance and 20 percent who backed Soong.

Meanwhile, the Chinese-language China Times’ poll showed that 32 percent of respondents felt Ma did better than his opponents, compared with 30 percent who felt Tsai did the best and 14 percent who preferred Soong.

In related news, a Chinese netizen calling himself Guigumukong, said yesterday on his microblog that everyone in China should watch the Taiwanese presidential debates.

“This is a first step in civil rights. This is a way we can learn how national leadership should be elected,” Guigumukong said.

“Only when state leaders are elected via a democratic process can China become a democracy,” he said. “Leaders produced via other methods are only dictators under a fake skin of democracy.”

Another Chinese blogger said that a rare sense of pride for Chinese people arose after watching Taiwan’s presidential debate.

“For long, we Chinese people have not had that kind of proud feeling,” said the blogger, who calls himself Shengdai/Xindi.

Another Chinese blogger who called himself Danne_stone said that “the biggest thought after watching Taiwan’s 2012 presidential debate is that the people in Taiwan definitely do not want to reunite with China.”

Additional reporting by Staff writer

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