Koo voices concern over China and Diaoyutais

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Apr 25, 2013 - Page 3

Saying establishing some level of control over Taiwan could be China’s real motive behind its conflict with Japan over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), former presidential advisor and senior Taiwan independence advocate Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) yesterday called on Japan to refrain from responding to Chinese provocation.

Koo said he was worried that China may either demand an agreement from Taipei to allow Chinese naval vessels to dock in Taiwanese ports, or ask for medical care for wounded military personnel in the event that a military conflict breaks out between China and Japan, adding that Taiwan would be seen as a part of China if that occurred.

“That would be the beginning of major problems, as President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), with his low approval and credibility ratings, would not be trusted as a leader who could make appropriate responses,” Koo said.

If Taiwan is seen as part of China, re-militarization could become an inevitable option for Tokyo, he added.

Koo said he brought up his longtime suspicion of Beijing’s unspoken political agenda in a meeting with Japanese Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso last week in Tokyo, and urged Japan to come up with a contingency plan and refrain from responding to Chinese provocation.

Koo, a former presidential advisor during the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration, has been known for his staunch support of Taiwan independence, but appears to have mollified his position on cross-strait relations.

Taiwan is already a “perfect” and independent nation, and all it needs now is the normalization of the nation, including the rectification of its name and a new constitution, Koo said.

On domestic politics, Koo expressed his disappointment at the DPP and the so-called “Four Kings” — senior DPP members Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃) and DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).

“They should retire from politics and let the younger generation shine. They should be ‘kingmakers’ rather than kings,” Koo said.