Mon, Jun 15, 2015 - Page 3 News List

KMT fight with Tsai moves to ‘Diplomat’ arena

CROSS-STRAIT FOCUS:Lee Shih-chuan used an article printed in a regional magazine to criticize Tsai Ing-wen about her China policy and the ‘status quo’

By Shih Hsiao-kuang and Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

In an article published in The Diplomat magazine on Saturday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Secretary-General Lee Shih-chuan (李四川) called on Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to clarify her “nebulous” China policy.

Coming on the heels of a letter Lee wrote to the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, the magazine article, titled “Time for Taiwan’s Opposition to Clarify Its Cross-Strait Policy,” is the latest in a series of similar calls from the KMT for Tsai to define the cross-strait “status quo” that she has vowed to maintain.

The KMT believes that Tsai’s recent 12-day US trip was a “welcome development” in terms of expanding Taiwan’s international presence, however, if the visit was the success that Tsai claims, “it was mainly made possible by her repeated statements in support of the Kuomintang’s policies toward mainland China,” Lee wrote.

Tsai has repeatedly vowed to maintain the “status quo developed under seven years of KMT leadership,” he wrote.

He said there are two directions for Taiwan’s China policy: the KMT’s “rapprochement policies” or the DPP’s pursuit of de jure independence contained in its party charter.

Based on the so-called “1992 consensus,” the KMT’s China policies “reduce tension, increase investment, cultural exchange and tourism, and ensure open and transparent dialogue” with China, Lee said.

The “1992 consensus” refers to a supposed tacit understanding between the KMT and the Chinese government that both sides of Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

The KMT believes China to be the Republic of China (ROC), he wrote.

However, the DPP’s independence approach would increase cross-strait tensions and risk “entrapping the United States in an unnecessary conflict with mainland China,” he said.

Lee questioned a pledge Tsai made during a speech she gave at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, when she said that if elected president, she would have a policy “in accordance with the will of the Taiwanese people and the existing ROC constitutional order.”

He questioned if Tsai would base her China policy on “the Taiwanese constitution’s ‘one China’ principle,” noting that she was the “mastermind” of the “one China, one Taiwan” policy of 1991 and “one country on each side [of the Taiwan Strait] policy proposed in 2000 under the then-DPP administration.

Tsai said at the time that those policies were consistent with the “one China” principle, Lee wrote.

Tsai has failed to specify “which version of the status quo” she would maintain and how she would maintain it, he wrote, adding: “What are the fundamentals underpinning that ‘status quo,’ if not the KMT’s 1992 consensus?”

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