A group of politicians and academics are scheduled to unveil their proposition for a new framework for cross-strait relations on Tuesday, and yesterday denied that the official name of the initiative would contain sensitive terms such as “one China” or “one country.”
The seven-member group across party lines included former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Shih Ming-te (施明德), former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Chen Ming-tung (陳明通) under the former DPP administration and former National Security Council secretary-general Su Chi (蘇起), who served under President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration, according to a report published yesterday by Storm Media, an online news Web site.
“The initiative will neither be named ‘one China, two countries’ (一中兩國), ‘one country, two governments’ (一國兩府) nor ‘new one-China principle’ (新一中原則) as media outlets reported. The name will be simply ‘Our Appeal’ (我們的呼籲),” said Tamkang University Graduate Institute of China Studies director Andy Chang (張五岳), a group member.
Former DPP legislator Hong Chi-chang (洪奇昌) and a pair of former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration officials, former minister of foreign affairs Cheng Chien-jen (程建人) and former Straits Exchange Foundation vice chairman Chiao Jen-ho (焦仁和), were also in the group.
The group is to unveil its substantial principles and plans, which were formulated after six months of discussion, on Tuesday, in the hopes that the proposal can facilitate dialogue between the pan-green and pan-blue camps and stabilize cross-strait relations based in the best interests of the Taiwanese, Chang said.
“A divided Taiwan will not have a bright future,” the professor said.
Finding a new way and a new rhetoric to engage Beijing has now become a must because the DPP refuses to accept the so-called “1992 consensus,” which has had some success in reducing cross-strait tensions during Ma’s term, while the KMT and Beijing had different interpretations of the consensus, Chang said, without revealing substantial details of the proposal.
Meanwhile, Taiwanese found Beijing’s “one China” framework unacceptable, he added.
Asked if the group would advise Taiwan and China against “joining any alliance hostile to the other side,” Chang said the idea had been raised in the discussions, but “not opposition to a Taiwan-US alliance.”
Chang said the propositions were initiated by Shih and Su, and the group consulted a number of senior politicians, among them former premier Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村), Examination Yuan President John Kuan (關中) and former World United Formosans for Independence chairman Chang Tsan-hung (張燦鍙).
“The initiative would like to serve as an ‘interim mechanism’ between now and the future, when people in both societies decide on independence or unification. It would also ensure peaceful development of bilateral relations and seek a temporary solution accepted by both sides, despite their fundamental differences,” Hong said.
Hong declined to elaborate further on the initiative, but said that is similar in concept to what a Chinese proverb described as “nations of brotherhood” (兄弟之邦).
Chen Ming-tung, who has been one of the most respected China policy experts in the DPP, could not be reached yesterday.
The offices of former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) both denied the Storm Media report that they had been consulted on and gave positive responses to the proposal.