Tue, Feb 19, 2019 - Page 3 News List

VOA airs interview with Wu Den-yih

CHINESE LITERATURE:The KMT boss cited a poem by Mao and a tale from ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ as he discussed relations between Taiwan, China and the US

By Lin Liang-sheng and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih talks to reporters at the KMT’s headquarters in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

In an interview with Voice of America (VOA) that was broadcast on Sunday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) compared relations between Taiwan, the US and China to a tale from the Chinese classic Romance of the Three Kingdoms (三國演義) about three men who became sworn brothers, and said a “police and thief” analogy that some have used to describe Taiwan-China relations is inappropriate.

Wu gave the interview, in Mandarin, on Feb. 1 to mark the 40th anniversary of the US’ Taiwan Relations Act, and the KMT released a brief outline of the interview the same day that focused on Wu dismissing the possibility of political negotiations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait at the present time.

In the broadcast, Wu began by reciting a part of Mao Zedong’s (毛澤東) poem Snow (沁園春.雪), changing some of the wording to describe Taiwan-China relations to suggest that unification, Taiwanese independence and the “one country, two systems” model of cross-strait relations would all create turbulence in the Taiwan Strait and that peace would be the best outcome.

Advocating unification or independence was not a moral question, but a realistic one of choice, and that while the time is not ripe for unification, independence would result in a “severe situation,” he said.

Strong opposition to Taiwan independence was part of his platform when he ran for KMT chairman and it remains the KMT’s basic stance, he told the Washington-based broadcaster.

It was wrong for President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to associate the “one country, two systems” model with the “1992 consensus,” as the two are unrelated and Tsai’s move was completely unacceptable, he said.

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

The tale that Wu referred to, Oath of the Peach Garden (桃園三結義), tells of how Liu Bei (劉備), Guan Gong (關公) and Zhang Fei (張飛) became sworn brothers.

Guan is excellent with a sword; Liu is a natural leader and mild-tempered, benevolent and kind; and Zhang is short-tempered and skilled at military combat, Wu said in the interview, although he did not say which character might be which nation.

His comments on the “police and thief” analogy appeared to be referring to a remark made by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) during a televised interview on Jan. 18.

Asked if it would be possible for Taiwan to gain more international space if it developed a better relationship with the US, Ko said that doing so would be like “robbing a bank” and getting arrested because the robber “only saw the money and did not notice the police.”

He later clarified that what he meant was that Taiwan must pay attention to how China or the US responds when it contacts them.

Wu was also asked about the KMT’s primaries for next year’s presidential elections.

The KMT used a nationwide poll to select its candidate for the 2016 presidential election, but it discovered that it had created a major risk — DPP members who voted in the poll opted for the weakest candidate, the one who would be the easiest to defeat, Wu said.

The result was that the KMT lost the 2016 election by more than 3 million votes, he said.

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