KMT ad defends unification plan

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Wed, Feb 15, 2006 - Page 3

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday sought to defend itself in the face of criticism that its goal of "eventually" unifying with China had little support among most Taiwanese.

The party published a print ad in a pro-independence newspaper explaining its cross-strait stance, as set out by Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) recently when he said that maintaining the status quo is the most pragmatic path for Taiwan.

In an ad titled "Taiwan's Pragmatic Path" that appeared in the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister newspaper), the KMT stressed the importance of maintaining the status quo as a practical choice for the country, and that Taiwan's future should be determined by its people, rather than the government.

With scales that has "status quo" and "peace" on each side, the ad repeated what Ma said in an article in the Asian Wall Street Journal last week -- that neither unification nor independence is likely for Taiwan in the foreseeable future and that therefore the status quo should be maintained.

KMT communication and culture committee vice president Huang Yu-chen (黃玉振) said the party wanted to express its policies and stance in a simple yet complete way in the wake of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) New Year address.

"After the president declared his plan to abolish the National Unification Guidelines, the KMT's policies and stance were twisted in many ways," he said.

"We want to present our policy through the ad, and hope that the government will listen to the people's demand for maintaining the status quo," he said.

Huang said the party hoped that the government will stop making an issue of the unification/independence dispute with the KMT and refocus its efforts on responding to the people's demands.

Ma, who is currently on a five-nation European tour in his capacity as Taipei mayor, had approved the ad's content, the KMT said.