Senior Taiwan independence advocate Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) yesterday unveiled his proposal for a “nations of brotherhood” (兄弟之邦) framework to solve cross-strait relations and establish peace and stability.
The 87-year-old former presidential adviser explained his initiative with a full-page advertisement in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) yesterday.
The initiative is the first concrete proposal to emerge since former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) submitted his “constitutions with different interpretations” (憲法各表) proposal during his landmark visit to China earlier this month.
Koo said he came up with his initiative about seven years ago after drawing inspiration from a poem by Chinese poet Cao Zhi (曹植) and has been playing with the idea ever since.
However, he did not try to establish a framework to deal with cross-strait interaction until recently.
Koo’s initiative is based on the spirit of brotherhood, in which Taiwan and China, as brothers, help each other.
China could claim the title of the “big brother” due to its rising power.
If Beijing accepted the framework by recognizing Taiwan as a country and helping Taiwan secure UN membership, Koo proposed that Taiwan could “return four favors” to China by not joining anti-China alliances or organizations, abstaining from UN voting if it went against China’s policy, offering China US$50 billion in financial aid for its inland development and returning all antique collections at the National Palace Museum to China.
In terms of a cross-strait framework, the initiative could be Taiwan’s bottom line of negotiation, rather than Beijing’s bottom line of “one country, two systems,” Koo said.
The initiative would be more “practical” than Ma’s mantra of “no unification, no independence and no use of force,” which he described as meaningless.
“Most Taiwanese agree that Taiwan is an independent country and less than 10 percent support unification,” he said.
“Taiwan is not capable of declaring war against China,” he added.
Koo believes the concept would be easy for the international community to understand and accept because it would promote relations similar to those between the UK, the US and Canada or the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
China would also find it difficult to reject the proposal because it “needs cross-strait peace more than Taiwan does” and even if it took Taiwan by force, it would not be able to manage the widespread anti-China sentiment.
However, Koo acknowledged that it is just a proposal at present and he has not discussed it with the DPP, which is still looking to come up with a party consensus on China policy after suffering defeat in January’s presidential election.
Koo hopes that his proposal, like Hsieh’s, would catalyze the DPP’s brainstorming and encourage people to be more creative with proposals for the future of cross-strait development.