Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairperson candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) yesterday said it was “heart-wrenching” to see that more than half of Taiwan’s youth lean toward independence, while rival Apollo Chen (陳學聖) called for a “grand debate” with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on transitional justice next year.
The KMT held the second policy presentation for its four chairperson candidates yesterday.
Cross-strait relations, the KMT’s “historical value,” as opposed to transitional justice, and party assets were some of the topics discussed.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
Hung cited a recent survey conducted by the Chinese-language United Daily News that found 36 percent of people in the nation support Taiwanese independence — with 19 percent supporting immediate independence and 17 percent supporting independence after first maintaining the “status quo” — and among those aged between 20 and 29, more than 50 percent support independence, with 29 percent supporting immediate independence and 25 percent supporting eventual independence.
“This result is heart-wrenching and our party’s misery. Our party has always viewed safeguarding the Republic of China [ROC] as its responsibility, but what is it that we have protected in the end?” Hung said.
“Mainstream public opinion is still for maintaining the ‘status quo’ [with 46 percent support in the survey]. What is the ‘status quo’? Our Constitution states the sovereignty of the ROC includes China,” she said. “If there are people pursuing independence and separatism, as responsible politicians we should tell them what the consequences of choosing a different path are.”
Hung also said that if president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) — “who has a different outlook for the nation’s future from ours” — sincerely wishes to maintain the “status quo,” she should abrogate the DPP’s Taiwanese independence platform and all other related resolutions.
Chen proposed holding a “grand debate on history and transitional justice” next year, “the 30th anniversary of the lifting of martial law,” adding that the KMT also has the right to interpret transitional justice and should champion the party’s historical values.
“The KMT made a contribution through the fact that party alternations have become a reality in the nation,” he said.
“Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and [former president] Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) might have been authoritarian, but the election of [Chiang Ching-kuo’s son] John Chiang (蔣孝嚴) and [John Chiang’s son] Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) as lawmakers could be viewed as the KMT’s own transitional justice,” he added.
He said the 319 shooting incident in 2004, in which a bullet grazed then-president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) stomach while another hit then-vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) in the knee on the eve of the 2004 presidential election, and the corruption rumor that cost then-KMT-nominated Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Huang Chun-ying (黃俊英) the election in 2006 “should also be counted as transitional justice issues that need to be examined.”
Taipei City Councilor Lee Hsin (李新) contended that, while the DPP has rallied against the KMT’s assets, the foundations established by politicians, “which are the white gloves [for politicians’ money],” have been largely overlooked.
“Tsai, Chen Shui-bian and other DPP politicians all have their own foundations, which are their own ‘private coffers,’” Lee said.
Lee seemed to turn against his own comrades, demanding that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) apologize before he leaves office and attacking Hung’s “self-deceiving” cross-strait stance that he said caused serious damage to the KMT.
Acting Chairperson Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠) said her cross-strait policy would be in line with the Constitution and the party’s political platform and, if elected as chairperson, she would make sure that the DPP-led government, including the Presidential Office, the National Security Council, the Mainland Affairs Council and the Straits Exchange Foundation, is closely overseen.
“If the DPP administration’s cross-strait policies damage people’s welfare, the KMT would not sit idly by,” she said.
“We would initiate the ‘KMT-Chinese Communist Party Platform’ and contain, or even correct, the damage,” she added.
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