Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential hopeful Hung Hsiu-chu’s (洪秀柱) team fought back yesterday against the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) criticism of Hung’s understanding of the US’ “one China” policy by accusing the DPP of mistranslating a word in Time magazine’s interview with DPP presidential nominee Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).
DPP Department of International Affairs director James Huang (黃志芳) called a news conference yesterday to say that the question of whether Hung, if elected, would be capable of coping with foreign policy “can be nerve-racking.”
Huang was commenting on remarks Hung recently made during a radio interview in which she said that the KMT’s cross-strait policy is consistent with that of the US.
KMT cross-strait policy is consistent with the Three Communiques signed by Washington and Beijing — the Shanghai Communique, the Joint Communique on the Establishment of Relations and the 817 Communique — as well as the Taiwan Relations Act, Hung said in the interview with Broadcasting Corp of China on Friday last week.
Hung said that the elements of the KMT’s policy” — the “one China” principle, the “1992 consensus” — 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 — and a rejection of Taiwanese independence — are indicated in the communiques.
“It made no sense at all that Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung was trying to equate the ‘1992 consensus’ with the Three Communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act,” Huang said.
Huang said the Three Communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act existed long before the term “1992 consensus” was invented in 2000 by then-Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起), who admitted fabricating it in 2006.
Not only was Hung wrong about the chronological sequence of the events, but she showed her lack of knowledge of the foundations the US’ “one China” policy is based on, which makes the US policy different from China’s “one China” principle, Huang said.
With regard to the “1992 consensus,” US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Susan Thornton has recently clearly expressed the US’ position that although the US wants to see the basis for cross-strait exchanges continue, it would neither favor or disfavor what the name given to that basis is, Huang said.
Asked for a comment on Huang’s remarks, Hung spokesperson Jack Yu (游梓翔) said Hung has already clearly stated her stance on cross-strait relations.
“If the DPP is competent to manage the nation’s foreign affairs, could it please first explain why it translated ‘wonky’ as hsuehyuanpai (學院派, which means a person of academic style) [in the Mandarin version of the interview]?” Yu said.
Tsai made the cover of the latest Asian edition of Time with an article about her, in which she was described as having gained “a reputation for being wonky — the type who likes to debate protectionism over early-morning sips of black coffee or oolong tea.”
Yu said that Time meant to say that Tsai is a person of “unreliable” or “untrustworthy” characteristics by using the word “wonky.”
The mistranslation made by the DPP has become a laughing stock, Yu said.
The word “wonk” is defined as “a person preoccupied with arcane details or procedures in a specialized field” and is often used to describe politicians who like to talk policy, although “wonky” in its British usage can also mean “crooked or skewed,” but not to describe a person.
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