Wed, Feb 27, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Premier, KMT lawmaker spar over foreign policy

COMMON ENEMY:Su said that Tung Hui-chen has fallen out of touch with Taiwan after living in the US, whose politicians have always faced national threats together

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Cabinet members yesterday sparred with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Tung Hui-chen (童惠珍) after she grilled them over the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) cross-strait and foreign policies.

Tung said the DPP was responsible for frosty cross-strait relations since 2016, the loss of five diplomatic allies to China and Beijing obstructing Taiwan’s participation in the International Criminal Police Organization and other international bodies.

She asked whether President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has kept her promise to maintain the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait.

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said that the government has been steadfast in its resolve to maintain the “status quo,” but Beijing has been determined to alter it, proof of which could be found in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) speech la st month proposing a Taiwanese version of the “one country, two systems” formula.

Xi’s statements stemmed from Beijing’s sense of urgency to absorb Taiwan, Chen said.

However, Tung said that they were prompted by the DPP administration’s refusal to acknowledge the so-called “1992 consensus.”

“The ‘1992 consensus’ is now known as ‘one country, two systems,’” Chen said, citing Xi’s speech.

However, Tung said that the DPP’s rejection of the “1992 consensus” has caused that, as well as spiraling cross-strait relations, without giving Chen a chance to respond.

She then asked Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) why he once wrote on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Twitter account that officials at China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) were “lunatics.”

“Is this the way to interact with China?” Tung asked.

Wu said that the international community has responded positively to Tsai’s response to Xi’s “five points,” as well as the ministry’s response to the TAO’s ridicule of Tsai, which shows that the international community does not approve of China’s actions.

However, Tung said that Wu’s tweet only showed the international community that Taiwan is “narrow-minded,” prompting a visibly angered Wu to raise his voice.

“I hope that you would act on your conscience when China disrespects us,” he said.

Tung then cited Ministry of Economic Affairs data, saying that China last year bought US$130 billion of Taiwanese goods, including about 90 percent of the nation’s fruit, and asked Su how trade with China can be maintained with abysmal cross-strait relations.

Tung then showed Su a photograph she took last year in New York’s Flushing neighborhood, where overseas Taiwanese hold annual parades to honor the nation.

Gone were the Republic of China flags attendees used to wave, and in their place were People’s Republic of China flags, which she attributed to the Tsai administration changing the titles and honorary chairpersons of overseas Taiwanese associations in an effort to desinicize them, which has caused overseas Taiwanese to identify more with China.

Su said that Tung should thank the DPP, as showing a photograph like that in public during the authoritarian era would have resulted in being jailed by the KMT.

Tung lived in the US so long that she has fallen out of touch with Taiwan, the premier said, adding that in the US, Republicans and Democrats are rivals, but both parties have always worked together to face a common enemy, unlike Tung and the KMT.

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