Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Are Both Ma Ying-jeou and Tsai Ing-wen Guilty of Treason?

Are Both Ma Ying-jeou and Tsai Ing-wen Guilty of Treason?
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
September 30, 2008

President Ma Ying-jeou said, "cross-strait relations are not state to state relations, but a special kind of relationship." Tsai Ing-wen denounced Ma's statement as "treason." This is ironic, because the Democratic Progressive Party's "swift rectification of names, authoring of a new constitution" and "establishment of a Nation of Taiwan" have long been considered treason.
Are both Ma Ying-jeou and Tsai Ing-wen are guilty of treason?
This dispute underscores just how much confusion there is about the nation's identity.

Most people hold one of three positions on our nation's identity. One. The Republic of China. Two. One China, Different Interpretations. Three. One Nation Each Side. The problem with these three positions is that none of them is entirely satisfactory. Adherents of one position often accuse adherents of another of having blind spots. But they themselves have similar blind spots. Taiwan independence advocates are an obvious example. They long to to overthrow the Republic of China, but at the same time are incapable of establishing a "Nation of Taiwan." The merits of the three positions on national identity can only be evaluated on a relative basis. None of them is entirely satisfactory. This is the source of the turmoil. This is why both Ma Ying-jeou and Tsai Ing-wen's positions can be regarded as "treason." Let's examine the three positions.

One. The Republic of China. The "One China Constitution" and "Articles on Cross-Strait Relations" constitute the basic framework of the Republic of China. Within this framework, the Republic of China is supreme. The two sides are referred to as the "Mainland Region" and the "Taiwan Region." Therefore, when President Ma refers to the two sides as the "Taiwan Region" and the "Mainland Region," in strict adherence to the One China Constitution he is hardly guilty of "treason." On the contrary, he is adopting the hardest possible line in upholding the sovereignty of the Republic of China. When Ma Ying-jeou referred to cross-Strait relations as "not state-to-state relations" he was accused of denying that we are a nation. But under the framework of the One China Constitution, we are the Republic of China. We are defined by the Preamble of the Constitutional Amendments and the Articles on Cross-Strait Relations. The two sides are constitutionally defined as the "Taiwan Region" and the "Mainland Region." Cross-Strait relations are constitutionally defined as "not state-to-state relations." Under this framework, only the Republic of China has legitimacy. Only the Republic of China exists. The Green Camp may denounce this as "Republic of China fundamentalism." But the fact remains it is the constitutional basis for all current cross-Strait relations. Ma Ying-jeou's statement violate neither the spirit nor the letter of the One China Constitution. He was merely "Politically Incorrect" in his manner of expression. He was too "fundamentalist." He deviated too much from "One China, Different Expressions" and some consider his position infeasible in the long run.

Two. One China, Different Interpretations. This position has leaves open two possibilities. One. The "One China" is something that transcends both the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China. It is a third entity that provides a conceptual roof over both. This is the heart of the Ma administration's policy. Two. Another version of "One China, Different Interpretations" is "I am the Republic of China, you are the People's Republic of China." This version comes close to being "Two Chinas." Beijing is unlikely to accept this version of "One China, Different Interpretations."

Three. One Nation Each Side. This position advocates either Two Chinas or One China, One Taiwan. It also advocates the Rectification of Names and the Authoring of a New Constitution. When the DPP drafted its Resolution on Taiwan's Future, it recognized the Republic of China. It left open the possibility of Two Chinas or One China, Different Interpretations. But the DPP's current position on national identity is its Resolution for a Normal Nation. In other words, it advocates the Rectification of Names, the Authoring of a New Constitution, and the founding of a Nation of Taiwan. These all have as their goal the overthrown of the Republic of China.

When we examine the three positions, we see the irony of the dispute between Tsai Ing-wen and Ma Ying-jeou. Ma Ying-jeou's "not state-to-state relations" stance in fact upholds the Original Intent of the Republic of China and the One China Constitution. It could even be considered a "Pre One China" position. It could even be considered the most loyal of all positions one can have vis a vis the Republic of China. Yet Tsai Ing-wen denounced it as "treason." By contrast, Tsai Ing-wen and the DPP have yet to break free of calls for a Resolution for a Normal Nation, for the Rectification of Names, and for the establisment of a Nation of Taiwan. In other words, they remain mired in treason against the Republic of China. Their dilemma underscores just how confused they are about the nation's identity.

Ma Ying-jeou has stirred up a hornet's nest. Actually Tsai Ing-wen's accusations of "treason" are not the problem. The problem is Ma unwittingly deviated from "One China, Different Interpretations." The result was a clear case of upholding Original Intent was perversely characterized as "treason." Had Ma Ying-jeou reiterated that "One China means the Republic of China," he would have stepped on another landmine. After all, when it comes to a nation's identity, a miss is as good as a mile. The "One China Constitution" is not particularly controversial. But "not state-to-state cross-strait relations" is, even though it may merely be the other side of the same coin. Championing "Taiwan's sovereignty" is not particularly controversial. But the "Founding of a Nation of Taiwan" is, even though it may merely be a more explicit expression of the same sentiment. Ma Ying-jeou did his best to clarify the meaning of a "One China Constitution." Instead he touched off a storm of controversy. By contrast, Tsai Ing-wen did her best to muddy the meaning of "Taiwan's sovereignty." But that hardly made it less controversial.

Is there no Third Way for cross-Strait relations? More to the point, would Beijing agree to any Third Way for "One China, Different Interpretations?"

Are Tsai Ing-wen and Ma Ying-jeou both guilty of "treason?" On a more serious note, the dispute underscores just how much confusion prevails about the nation's identity. Ironically, this war of words between the Republic of China and the Nation of Taiwan does nothing to promote unity and consensus on Taiwan.

2008.09.30 03:02 am



關於國家定位的論述,大約可分作三個類型。一、中華民國;二、一中各表;三、一邊一國。問題在於:沒有一種類型能夠自我完足;當一種類型批評另一種類型有 盲點時,批評者所持的那種類型亦有缺陷。最明顯的例子是:台獨要推翻中華民國,但台灣國也活不成。因此,只能以相對的觀點來評比上述三種類型的國家定位, 無法建立一個完美無缺的論述。這正是一切紛擾之所由生,也是馬英九及蔡英文皆可能被視為「叛國」的理由。以下略論三種類型:

一、中華民國:基本架構是「一中憲法」及《兩岸關係條例》。此一論述以中華民國為主體,將兩岸稱作「大陸地區」與「台灣地區」。因此,馬總統若依據「一中 憲法」,視兩岸為「台灣地區/大陸地區」,因而稱「兩岸屬非國與國關係」,就中華民國立場而言,非但並未「叛國」,反而是將「中華民國」推向極致。當馬英 九說「非國與國關係」,被指為自我否定為「國」;但若在「一中憲法」的架構下,要堅持「中華民國」的立場,即必須依憲法增修條文序言及《兩岸關係條例》, 將兩岸視作「台灣地區/大陸地區」的「非國與國關係」;因為,在此一架構下,唯一的「國」就是「中華民國」,這可謂是「中華民國基本教義派」,其實亦是現 今兩岸一切實務的運作基礎。馬英九的說法並未違反「一中憲法」,只是他的表述方式顯然是「政治不正確」,也太過「基本教義」,且偏離了「一中各表」;再 者,此一架構的終局可行性亦被質疑。



略論以上三種類型之後,可以看出馬英九與蔡英文之爭議的弔詭。馬英九的「非國與國關係」,其實是最「中華民國基本教義」及「一中憲法」的論述,甚至亦是 「前一中各表」的論述,可謂最忠於中華民國,卻被蔡英文指為「叛國」。相對而言,蔡英文及民進黨,迄今仍未跳脫《正常國家決議文》、正名制憲及台灣國的綑 綁,亦即自己亦陷「叛國(中華民國)」的情境。這樣的弔詭,豈非顯示了國家論述的混濁與難解?

馬英九這次捅到馬蜂窩,問題其實不在蔡英文所指的「叛國」,而是他在不知不覺間偏離了「一中各表」的政策基調。因而,明明是「基本教義」,卻被指為「叛 國」;但馬英九若重申「一個中國就是中華民國」,必又陷入另一層次的爭議。畢竟,國家定位的論述,失諸毫釐、差以千里。例如,若說「一中憲法」,較無異 聲;但若說「兩岸屬非國與國關係」,其實亦是一體兩面,引致議論。又如,若說:維護「台灣主權」,較無異聲;但若說要「建立台灣國」,其實也只是由表入裡 而已,即生爭議。馬英九是想把「一中憲法」說清楚一點,卻惹出了爭議;相對而言,蔡英文只是不想也不敢把「台灣主權」說清楚罷了,難道就沒有爭議?



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