Politicians yesterday denounced a Chinese state media report that labeled two Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators as “secret Taiwanese independence advocates,” saying that if its interpretation were true, it would be describing most Taiwanese.
KMT legislators Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) and Charles Chen (陳以信) were on Saturday named by the People’s Political Consultative Daily as members of a “secret” faction of independence advocates.
The article asserted the presence of two independence “forces” in Taiwan, one overt and one covert.
Photo: Huang Mei-chu, Taipei Times
Certain KMT members comprise the “secret” faction, which extolls “one China,” while in reality colluding with external antagonists to act against Chinese in the name of being anti-communist, the paper wrote.
The harm of this faction on cross-strait relations exceeds even that of “overt” forces, mainly comprised of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference publication said.
The report comes after three top DPP politicians in November last year were sanctioned by Beijing as “diehard separatists,” although the naming of KMT members marks a departure from its usual targets.
Reacting to the report yesterday, Lin and Chen said that they support the Republic of China (ROC).
The ROC is a sovereign and independent nation, Lin told reporters, adding that if this is considered “Taiwanese independence,” then it would describe the vast majority of Taiwanese.
He said that he hopes for peace and coprosperity across the Taiwan Strait, but calm cannot describe the current situation of worsening military incursions by China.
Chen declined to comment on the report, but said that he is the ROC’s biggest proponent and the biggest opponent of independence.
Support for the ROC does not equate to being anti-Chinese, he added.
The path forward for the KMT involves growing closer to the US and being more amicable with China, Chen said, adding that he has in recent years helped advance party relations with the US and called for a more balanced outreach to the US and China.
Beijing should not regard the pursuit of cross-strait stability and balance as “anti-Chinese,” he said, calling it a serious misjudgement of the situation.
The official position of the KMT is to defend the ROC, and uphold freedom and democracy, while prioritizing the interests of Taiwanese, KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) told reporters while visiting the National Policy Foundation.
Peace is the shared responsibility of all, he said, calling on all sides to exercise restraint.
Meanwhile, DPP Legislator Hsu Chih-chieh (許智傑) said that the article is merely an attempt to provoke and divide Taiwanese.
To the Chinese Communist Party, supporting the “ROC” and supporting “Taiwan” are both separatist actions, Hsu said.
Extensive debates about what constitutes independence or unification have allowed China to set its own definition, which clearly differs from that held by the KMT, DPP Legislator Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) told a news conference on polling results.
“I do not know the basis of the paper’s argument, but the DPP will defend freedom of speech, no matter the speaker’s political inclination,” he said, adding that this includes the KMT.
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