Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Acting Chairperson Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠) yesterday stepped up her criticism of a proposal to remove portraits of Republic of China (ROC) founding father Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) from public buildings, questioning whether president-elect Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) ultimate goal is to eliminate the ROC.
“As an ROC citizen, a KMT member for 22 years and the interim chairperson of the party, I must solemnly share my thoughts on Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] Legislator Gao Jyh-peng’s (高志鵬) plan to abolish the legal requirement to hang a portrait of Sun within public buildings,” Huang said in a statement.
Huang said she wondered whether the proposal is part of Tsai’s policy and if the eradication of the ROC is her ultimate objective.
“If not, please ask your party’s lawmakers to shut up. Have the ROC citizens given their permission for the removal of our founding father’s portraits? People voted the DPP into power in the hope of living in a more dignified manner, not for the party to eliminate the ROC,” Huang said.
In 2004, former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of the DPP confirmed Sun’s status as the ROC’s founding father for the sake of ethnic harmony, yet the DPP has once again tossed around the issue after gaining complete control of the government in an apparent move to manipulate ethnic divisions, Huang said.
Huang, who is vying for the KMT chair, said she has instructed all KMT legislators to block Gao’s proposed draft act, adding that the party’s core values — including that the ROC is on Taiwan, the so-called “1992 consensus” and the “one China, with different interpretations” initiative — would remain.
The “1992 consensus,” a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted to making up in 2000, refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
KMT Culture and Communications Committee director-general Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) said Tsai pledged to make this year “the first year of reforms” after she secured victory in last month’s presidential election.
“However, judging from the DPP’s conflict-thirsty nature and the provocative draft bills it has put forward in the past … what we have been feeling is more like ‘the first year of a cultural revolution,’” Lin said.
Lin said the DPP has failed to draw up bills on more pressing issues, such as disaster prevention, people’s livelihoods and the economy, instead taking aim at Sun, which shows that the party is not prioritizing the well-being of the nation and its people.
After his death in 1925, Sun was compared to US founding father and former president George Washington, with then-military commander Fan Zhongxiu (樊鍾秀) referring to Sun as the “father of the nation,” Lin said.
“Later, in 1940, the KMT regime issued a decree that the rest of China would call Sun the ‘father of the nation,’ offering a legal basis for his title,” Lin said, accusing the DPP of launching autocratic schemes and power struggles under the pretext of transitional justice.
Separately yesterday, former KMT vice chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) drew a parallel between Sun and democracy movement pioneer Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕), who self-immolated on April 7, 1989, to protest against the authoritarian KMT regime.
“Both Sun and Deng had fought for democracy and freedom for the Zhonghua minzu [Chinese ethnic group, 中華民族]. While they were born in different eras, their insistence on achieving those values were the same,” Hau said.
Hau said that not long after Gao tabled the proposed bill, DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) recommendeded designating the day of Deng’s death “Freedom of Speech Day.”
The two proposals show that the DPP is still motivated by political ideology, Hau said.
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