Groups to create pro-independence cooperation platform - Taipei Times
Mon, Nov 21, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Groups to create pro-independence cooperation platform

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Pro-independence groups are to launch a cooperation platform next year to provide momentum to the independence movement, which they said has been slighted by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who has vowed to maintain the cross-strait “status quo.”

Peter Wang (王獻極), convener of the 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign, said he and Taiwan People News chairman Chen Yung-hsing (陳永興) are organizing a pro-independence platform, which is to be launched with the participation of dozens of pro-localization groups, to pressure the Tsai administration and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on issues pertaining to Taiwanese independence.

“The Tsai administration has not responded to public calls to reject the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ and having Taiwan represented by an appropriate name in international events,” Wang said.

The “1992 consensus” refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means. Former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted he made up the term in 2000.

“Although pro-independence groups and the DPP government share the same view on the development of Taiwan, there is no burden on pro-independence groups to speed up the goal [of achieving independence], while the Tsai administration, due to the responsibility it carries, has to be slow,” he said.

The platform will lay the groundwork for the government to launch pro-localization policies, he said.

Wang started a campaign in 2002 to promote the use of “Taiwan” and drop the term “Chinese Taipei” in international and domestic events, which did not gain traction until the second year of campaigning, when it collected 200,000 signatures and won the support of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

The campaign succeeded in having Taipei’s Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall renamed to Liberty Square; the state-run oil refiner then known as Chinese Petroleum Corp rebranded as CPC Corp, Taiwan; and Chunghwa Post renamed to Taiwan Post, as well as the introduction of a new passport with the word “Taiwan” in Roman script on the cover.

“The voice of the public has to be united in a common cause to be heard by the government,” Wang said.

The initial consensus reached by the prospective platform members includes lowering referendum thresholds and halting the use of “Chinese Taipei” for Taiwanese organizations participating in international events, he added.

Ketagalan Institute president Chin Heng-wei (金恆煒) is to spearhead a plan to seek amendments to the Referendum Act (公民投票法) to pave the way for broader public discussion on national issues not limited to independence topics, Wang said.

While the groups’ priorities vary, with some advocating a proposal for a UN membership and others independence, lowering the threshold for referendums is one area that they all agree on, he added.

The campaign to promote the use of “Taiwan” instead of “Chinese Taipei” by national teams in international competitions, particularly the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is to be renewed, Wang said.

The platform will also collaborate with the DPP, the Taiwan Solidarity Union and the New Power Party to campaign for different causes, he added.

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