Fri, May 05, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Independence never an option for KMT, Hung Hsiu-chu says

By Shih Hsiao-kuang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Formal “Taiwanese independence will never be an option” for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) said during an interview broadcast online on Tuesday.

Social Democratic Party (SDP) member Miao Po-ya (苗博雅), who conducted the interview, asked Hung whether the KMT would continue to embrace its ideology of unification, to which Hung replied that the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution “is the constitution of ‘one China.’”

Amended clauses stipulate that both sides of the Taiwan Strait should seek unification, although a timetable is not given, Hung said, adding that the KMT maintains that “national sovereignty extends over mainland China and that the two sides are two areas that retain their own autonomy.”

Hung, who is seeking another term as chairwoman, did not say whether she would push for a referendum on unification, but said that the public should not be afraid of the concept, represented by the word tung (統), which, in the context of cross-strait relations, means “unification.”

Taiwan does not have the capability to be independent and it should seek alternatives, Hung said, adding that even if it wished to maintain the “status quo,” the “status quo” should be defined.

The administrations of former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) have failed to end the state of hostility across the Taiwan Strait, Hung said, adding that the KMT in September last year passed a charter to promote policies to look into the possibility of signing a peace agreement with Beijing.

A ceasefire came into in effect across the Taiwan Strait after the end of the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1958, but a formal armistice or peace treaty does not exist between the ROC and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

If no overtures for a peace treaty were made, Taiwan would not know whether the option is a possibility, Hung said, adding that the KMT would call on China to give Taiwan some leeway to interact with international organizations.

When asked whether the KMT would try to stop the Democratic Progressive Party if it proposed an amendment to the Constitution to declare de jure independence, Hung said that as long as she remains KMT chairwoman, independence would not be an option for the KMT.

Hung said that there are calls within the KMT for it to let the issue pass, but added that regardless of the outcome of a push for de jure independence, the ramifications of the proposal must be made clear, as its consequences would affect all Taiwanese.

Meanwhile, former vice president Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), who is also running for the KMT chair, said that “there is no need” to make the party’s pro-unification line “particularly salient.”

It is impractical to talk about unification, Wu said, but added that independence is impossible.

“Peace is the best,” Wu said, adding that people who want unification would see their ideals realized by moving to China.

“There is no need to drag the other 23 million Taiwanese along with them,” Wu said.

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