Tsai Ing-wen Rejects the 1992 Consensus
United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
June 13, 2008
Tsai Ing-wen said that when the ruling Democratic Progressive Party regains power, it may reject the 1992 Consensus.
If the Democratic Progressive Party regains power, it will not be before 2012. By then, on the basis of the 1992 Consensus, the two sides will have established direct flights across the Taiwan Strait, mainland tourism to Taiwan, and even Taiwan's entry into the WHO. By then, what exactly will the DPP be rejecting? The 1992 Consensus, or direct flights across the Taiwan Strait, mainland tourism to Taiwan, and Taiwan's entry into the WHO?
If the DPP hopes to offer a convincing cross-strait policy platform, it needs to get the jump on the KMT and not allow itself to be left behind. Tsai Ing-wen says that when the Democratic Progressive Party regains power (no earlier than four years from now) it may reject the 1992 Consensus. But four years from now, an extensive superstructure erected on the foundation of the 1992 Consensus will be a fait accompli. Does the DPP really have any alternative but to accept the 1992 Consensus?
A Chinese aphorism says that "when you point at the moon, you concentrate on the moon and forget about your finger." The 1992 Consensus is merely the finger. Direct flights and other cross-strait policies are the moon. The DPP must offer its own rationale for direct flights and other cross-straits policies. Rejecting the 1992 Consensus is no longer an option. Can declaring that four or eight years from now it will reject the 1992 Consensus unscramble the omlet?
In the past, The DPP proposed "doing away with the 10,000 Year Legislature" and "lifting martial law." It ran ahead of the KMT, it welcomed the future. If today it uses "Rejecting the 1992 Consensus when it regains power" as a rallying cry, then it is falling behind the KMT, and attempting to turn back the clock.
The DPP is still piecing together a new cross-strait policy platform. So far its main themes are: 1. Reject the 1992 Consensus. 2. Reject the term "Chinese Taipei." In fact, during the Chen Shui-bian era, it never openly opposed the 1992 Consensus. It merely alleged that "There wasn't any 1992 Consensus." Today, now that there is a 1992 Consensus, the DPP has no choice but to up the ante, and demand "One China, Different Interpretations." But since Hu Jintao already spoke the words "One China, Different Interpretations" during Bush and Hu's Hotline conversation, the 1992 Consensus is merely an abbreviation for "One China, Different Interpretations." Besides, "One China, Different Interpretations" has room for growth. During the Wu Hu Meeting the two political parties recognized each other as ruling parties. Therefore the 1992 Consensus, or One China, Different Interpretations, hold out the promise of pragmatic and positive developments. This is not something the DPP can control. The DPP is in danger of becoming marginalized, even of becoming an outsider. Besides, If the DPP believes the 1992 Consensus has some other meaning other than "One China, Different Interpretations," what would it be? If the DPP rejects participation in the WHO in the name of "Chinese Taipei," does it want to wage yet another divisive campaign to "Join the UN in the Name of Taiwan?"
Tsai Ing-wen said: "If the DPP regains power it will reject 1992 Consensus." This is predicated on the assumption it will regain power. Actually, the DPP's rejection of the 1992 Consensus and the term "Chinese Taipei" may be a choice thrust upon it by its status as an opposition party. For the DPP to adopt such a stance is actually helpful to the ruling Kuomintang. Because the KMT can use DPP opposition as a reason to improve cross-strait relations. Furthermore, this is probably not the path by which the DPP will return to power. Anyone with any political sense will find it hard to imagine that four or eight years from now, the DPP will emerge victorious on the basis of the campaign slogan: Down with the 1992 Consensus!
Tsai Ing-wen said: Taiwan's sovereignty is non-negotiable. But Tsai Ing-wen has not clarified her bottom line. Is it the "Resolution on Taiwan's Future?" If so, why does the DPP oppose changing the name of the postal service back to the "Republic of China Post?" Is it the "Taiwan independence Party Constitution" and the "Resolution for a Normal Nation?" Tsai Ing-wen has not clarified what is negotiable and non-negotiable. She has merely rejected "Chinese Taipei." But how many times has the DPP used the term "Chinese Taipei" during its eight years in office? At least once every time an international baseball game was held.
If the DPP hopes to regain power, it cannot simply "reject the 1992 Consensus." It must confront the new cross-strait scenario erected on the foundation of the 1992 Consensus. It must find a way for Taiwan to seek solutions and avoid problems, to achieve a win/win cross-strait scenario. It should stop trying to push aside the finger pointing at the moon. It should confront the moon already high in the sky!
2008.06.13 03:03 am