Beijing must work with Taiwan toward “reunification” through a new mechanism of “Chinese-style” democracy that would limit the political arena to only a few political parties, former premier Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村) has said.
Hau, who delivered a keynote speech at the City University of Hong Kong on Friday, said that only when China abandons the threat of force against Taiwan and the two sides embrace “Chinese-style” democracy will the “Chinese dream” be accomplished, the South China Morning Post reported on Sunday.
In recent years, Beijing has increasingly relied on forums in Hong Kong and China to further its “united front” work by inviting senior Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members, retired Taiwanese generals and even a select number of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members, such as former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), to attend.
“The premise for democracy should be to stop the fighting between Chinese people [sic] and to end the era of political power that grows out of the barrel of a gun, which are key elements to realizing the ‘China dream,’” the Post quoted Hau as saying.
The 94-year-old said that examples of peaceful liberalization and democratization in Taiwan following the death of president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) in 1975 and during the Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) and Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) presidencies could serve as a model for China.
“The future development of cross-strait relations should stick to ‘no war, no [Taiwan] independence and gradual unification,’” Hau said.
Hau said that “Chinese-style” democracy would be an alternative to democracy as it is practiced in the West — and in Taiwan — where theoretically, if not in practice, there is no ceiling on the number of political parties.
“Taiwan started democratic reform to end one-party rule and lifted a press ban when the domestic economy was taking off in the 1980s,” Hau said, repeating the disputed belief that as they become wealthier, Chinese are likely to desire a relaxing of the political system.
Under “Chinese-style” democracy, the number of political parties would be limited to just a few.
“Only major parties with at least 20 percent of public popularity would qualify to nominate candidates,” Hau said, a proposal that, with Taiwan and China treated as a single polity, would almost certainly bring about the demise of both the DPP and the KMT, not to mention Taiwan’s smaller parties.
There is no evidence at this point that the Chinese Communist Party, which under Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has hardened its grip on Chinese society, would brook the presence of political competitors, especially parties with the ability to garner 20 percent of public support.
Hau caused a stir late last month when, addressing the “Witness Taiwan Democracy” forum organized by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, he denied that Taiwan was a sovereign nation and added that no democratic country — presumably a unified China — can accommodate two different democratic systems.
“When people on both sides of the Strait reach a consensus on their political system, unification will come to fruition naturally,” he said at the time.
CLEAR BEFORE LEAVING: Two baby boys and a woman in her 30s tested negative before departing for Japan, but tests taken after their arrival came back postive Three Taiwanese tested positive for COVID-19 when they arrived in Japan earlier this month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a new imported case. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the center, said that one of the three cases in Japan is a Taiwanese baby under the age of one, whose parents work in Japan. The infant came to Taiwan with his parents in January, and the parents paid for the family’s COVID-19 tests on Oct. 10 ahead of their planned return to Japan on Monday last week, he said. The boy and his
‘BACKED BY ENEMY’: CTi News is one of the few channels promoting unification, the New Party chairman said, while pro-Taiwan groups called it a propaganda outlet Pan-blue camp supporters yesterday lodged a protest at the National Communications Commission (NCC) against what they say is a possible move by the government to shut down CTi News, adding that politics should not interfere with freedom of the press. Protesters included representatives from the New Party, the Blue Sky Action Alliance, the 333 Political Party Alliance and other pan-blue groups. “We stand here today because CTi News is one of the few media outlets in Taiwan that is still willing to give groups supporting unification with China a voice. If the news channel is gone, there would only be
NEW YEAR’S EVE: Examples from South Korea and Japan show that 15 local COVID-19 infections could emerge in a short period if measures are not taken The Taipei City Government would cancel its New Year’s Eve Party and all large events if 15 or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 are reported in the city within a week, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday. Addressing the Taipei Cross Border E-Commerce Annual Convention, Ko said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many uncertainties to society, and that e-commerce is on a path of no return and would continue to grow. Many countries have not effectively controlled their COVID-19 outbreaks, and although Taiwan implements strict border controls and there have been few inbound passengers, the pandemic is unlikely to end soon,
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused CTi News of trying to mislead the public by publishing a half-page advert claiming that the party interfered in the National Communications Commission’s (NCC) review of its application for a license renewal. CTi News is distorting the commission’s review process by painting it as a political conflict and turning it into a smear campaign against the DPP, party spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳) said. “The NCC is an independent body, which carries out reviews and makes decisions based on its members’ professional expertise, as well as regulations and legal requirements governing media operations,” Yen said. “We condemn