Academics attending a forum in Taipei yesterday attributed the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) electoral defeats in 2014 and last year to its attempt to become Taiwan-centric, while some blamed them on KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu’s (洪秀柱) abandonment of the so-called “1992 consensus.”
At a forum held by the Taiwan Local Cultural Youth Association on the factors behind the KMT’s dwindling popularity Taiwan Competitiveness Forum director-general Pang Chien-kuo (龐建國) said the KMT’s root problems began when former president and party chairman Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) sought to turn the KMT into the “Taiwanese nationalist party” and tainted the party with “black gold” politics.
The association was founded by a group of young pan-blue supporters last year.
“That the KMT still suffered electoral defeats after having followed the ‘Taiwanese nationalist party’ direction suggests it is a dead end,” Pang said, adding the KMT’s future would be dire if it continues to cling to the naive idea that being a Taiwan-centric party would help it gain the support of swing voters.
Chinese Culture University college of social science dean Chao Chien-min (趙建民) criticized Hung for giving away the KMT’s “golden key” in dealing with cross-strait ties to her opponent, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who has been leaning toward the middle ground.
Chao said maintaining the cross-strait “status quo,” as well as adherence to the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution, the “1992 consensus,” and the “one China, with different interpretations” framework used to be the pillars of the KMT’s cross-strait policy.
“Most of us were already not satisfied with the ‘1992 consensus,’ but at least it is the only golden key that could be used to handle cross-strait ties at the moment … but why would you [Hung] throw away the only key?” Chao said.
Chao was referring to some KMT members’ belief that Hung intends to replace the “one China, with different interpretations” aspect of the “1992 consensus” with the formula of “one China, same interpretation.”
The “1992 consensus” refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and Beijing 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) said in 2006 that he had made up the term in 2000.
KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), who also attended the forum, said the party being out of sync with mainstream public opinion was the main reason for its two major electoral losses.
“The time when one person was allowed to call all the shots is over. We must tolerate diversity, listen to public opinion and give people what they need. Only by doing so can the KMT progress toward its long-term goal of regaining power,” Hau said.
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