Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) yesterday urged President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to refrain from paying lip service to political reconciliation and national unity, while using glorified slogans as a pretext for carrying out political persecution.
Hung made the remarks in a statement issued shortly after Tsai delivered her National Day speech in front of the Presidential Office Building in Taipei yesterday morning.
“While in principle, we recognize the importance Tsai attached in her National Day speech to the future of the younger generation, domestic reform, international participation and cross-strait stability... the president must be reminded that reform failing to conform to reason and the law is simply a political purge and an illegal struggle for power,” Hung said in the statement.
Photo: Sam Yeh, AFP
Hung, who was absent from yesterday’s National Day ceremony, said national leaders should construct their worldview based on a genuine understanding of the intentional environment and Taiwan’s predicament.
Clinging to a blind belief that international relations might change in accordance with their personal preferences not only shows they are helplessly foolish, but it could also cause the nation to be further isolated, Hung said.
Reiterating the importance of the so-called “1992 consensus” in the stable development of cross-strait relations, Hung said it is impossible that Tsai’s and the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) continued adherence to “unconstitutional separatism” and the promotion of independence under the banner of the Republic of China could lay the foundations for peace across the Taiwan Strait.
Photo: Sam Yeh, AFP
“What could Taiwan possibly hope to gain from hostile, confrontational cross-strait ties?” Hung asked.
The “1992 consensus” refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and Beijing that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
Former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) said in 2006 that he had made up the term in 2000.
In both her inauguration address and National Day speech, Tsai merely expressed respect for the historical facts of the “1992 talks,” as opposed to official acknowledgement of the “1992 consensus” as Beijing would prefer.
Later yesterday, former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) office issued a press release saying that Ma recognized Tsai’s reiteration of her pledge to maintain the cross-strait “status quo” and her call for Beijing to face up to the existence of the Republic of China.
“However, since the ‘1992 consensus, with different interpretations’ is a part of the ‘status quo,’ a denial of the framework would make the maintenance of the ‘status quo’ impossible and make it harder to prevent Tsai’s repeated pledge to maintain the ‘status quo’ from being interpreted as nothing but an empty slogan,” the statement said.
While Ma expressed a positive view about Tsai’s respect of the historical facts of the “1992 talks,” the former president said as the “1992 consensus” was a conclusion of the historic cross-strait meeting, how could Tsai respect the meeting, but shrug off the consensus?
The People First Party (PFP) legislative caucus gave positive feedback to Tsai’s National Day speech, saying that the president not only demonstrated greater goodwill to Beijing, but also drew a clear bottom line for cross-strait interactions — the existence of the Republic of China, .
“The cross-strait issue is not a simple problem as both sides of the Taiwan Strait face their own internal pressures. [Tsai] has showcased a relatively high level of benevolence by not succumbing to her intuitive reflex and taking an antagonistic stance,” the PFP said.
Saying that the Republic of China’s existence and the nation’s democratic system are also its bottom lines, the PFP expressed the hope that people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait who genuinely aspire for peace could seize the opportunity and restore normal cross-strait relations.
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