Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) yesterday said she is worried about “cultural Taiwanese independence” that she said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration plans to promote after it takes office on May 20.
Hung said at a KMT Central Standing Committee meeting that with the DPP’s return to power and judging from remarks and the performances of incoming minister of culture Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君) and incoming minister of education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠), policies of “de-Sinicization” and “cultural Taiwanese independence” are certain to be perpetuated.
“The two sides of the Taiwan Strait would not only lose their common political ground, a split in cultural identity would also be further widened, which would lead to a total collapse of the basis of the cross-strait relationship,” she said, adding that the cross-strait relationship would become one based on the distinction between enemies and friends, which would be disadvantageous to Taiwan.
Hung said that the fruit of KMT governance in the past eight years is evident, citing the number of cross-strait agreements signed and meetings held.
“The economic and trade exchanges between the two sides have brought enormous economic benefits, with the accompanying ease of military tensions and scorched-earth diplomacy, while Taiwan’s security, prosperity and dignity have been maintained,” she said.
Hung said she has misgivings about the incoming DPP government’s ability to handle cross-strait problems, adding that the relationship would return to the same state as eight years ago, with economic exchanges dwindling, the number of Chinese tourists dropping, military matters becoming more tense and the diplomatic truce ending.
“The KMT is going to continue working on a cross-strait relationship that is based on the [so-called] 1992 consensus to maintain cross-strait stability, lest Taiwanese be negatively affected [by the DPP’s cross-strait policies],” Hung said, adding that the party’s task force handling mainland affairs would be upgraded to a department.
Separately, former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), who has been named the nation’s next representative to Japan, clarified what a Japanese news outlet quoted him as saying.
According to a report, Hsieh said that president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not mention the “1992 consensus” or “the two sides of the Strait belonging to one China” in her May 20 inauguration speech.
“I did not put it that way,” Hsieh said of the report. “What I said was that according to the DPP’s logic and theory, we acknowledge that there was a meeting in 1992 and understand the spirit it represented, but we do not acknowledge the term ‘1992 consensus.’”
Former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2000 admitted making up the concensus, which is a tacit understanding between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
When asked about Beijing possibly demanding that Tsai acknowledge the “1992 consensus,” Hsieh said China would urge Taiwan to back down, as that is how the cross-strait relationship works.
“However, we of course would want to retain our sovereignty,” he said.
Hsieh added that insofar as Tsai is an elected president, she would have to draw her policies in accordance with public opinion.
“Her talk about the Republic of China’s constitutional framework was put forward following the wishes of the majority; this is sine qua non of a democratic country and also predictable,” he said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is aware that Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong has weakened any possible sentiment for a “one country, two systems” arrangement for Taiwan, and has instructed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) politburo member Wang Huning (王滬寧) to develop new ways of defining cross-strait relations, Japanese news magazine Nikkei Asia reported on Thursday. A former professor of international politics at Fu Dan University, Wang is expected to develop a dialogue that could serve as the foundation for cross-strait unification, and Xi plans to use the framework to support a fourth term as president, Nikkei Asia quoted an anonymous source
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