A report broadcast on CtiTV’s news channel (中天新聞台) has been slammed for alleging that American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Raymond Burghardt hinted that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Beijing are working together on a “formula” for the development of cross-strait relations.
The report, that was aired on Tuesday, showed Burghardt delivering a luncheon speech at a public conference entitled “Relations Across the Taiwan Strait: retrospectives and prospects for future development,” which was hosted on Monday by the Brookings Institution in Washington.
In the report, CtiTV’s Washington correspondent John Zang (臧國華) said that Burghardt had “insinuated that discussions between the DPP and Beijing are under way over a framework on which both sides could agree to base dialogue on and conduct exchanges.”
Zang’s voiceover was then followed by a clip of Burghardt saying: “We know that a lot has been going on and we will see whether something is found. But the important thing is for both sides to show flexibility and creativity.”
The CtiTV report concluded that it would be in the interests of the US if the DPP and Beijing can agree on a framework for ties.
DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) yesterday satirized the report on Facebook saying that the news channel might as well change its name to the “CtiTV drama channel.”
Tuan made the criticism based on an article published on the blog Taiwan Fugue (台灣賦格) in which the author — who had apparently checked the recording of Burghardt’s speech on the Brookings Institution Web site — accused Zang of “making up a narrative,” and “taking Burghardt’s words out of context.”
According to the recording of the public conference, Zang, in an excerpt from a question he put to Berghardt, said: “...but the Chinese government has made it very clear that they need something, a formula, which may not be called ‘1992 consensus’ to continue current exchanges and dialogues...”
“Does the US agree with that? Will the US support the DPP or [DPP] Chairwoman Tsai [Ing-wen (蔡英文)] in their pursuits of cross-strait relations on the basis of whatever formula that both sides, or the three sides, can agree to?” Zang then asked.
In answering Zang’s question, Burghardt first reiterated his earlier remarks that ties across the Taiwan Strait must proceed in a way that is acceptable to both sides and that there is no reason for a US position on the best framework for cross-strait relations.
“First of all, there isn’t a third, I am not sure what your three sides are, but, again, the US has never sort of blessed a particular formula for cross-strait relations. I think the furthest we have ever gone is to say [that] it’s nice that something is working. We encourage [not only] Taiwan, in this case, the DPP to also use flexibility and creativity, but also Beijing,” he said.
“One other thing, one of my old bosses [former US ambassador to China] Winston Lord used to often say Americans aren’t smart enough to mediate between Chinese. I guess George Marshall proved that. So I think that’s as true today as it was in 1947... We know that a lot has been going on and we will see whether something is found. But the important thing is for each side to show flexibility and creativity. I will just leave it with that,” he said.
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