Tsai Ing-wen's Three Illusions
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
December 10, 2011
Summary: Following last weekend's presidential debate, Tsai Ing-wen presented her cross-Strait policy platform. One. She would repudiate the 1992 Consensus and replace it with her so-called "Taiwan consensus." Two. She would replace SEF and ARATS with her so-called "cross-Strait dialogue working group." In sum, Tsai Ing-wen intends to shred the 1992 Consensus immediately upon taking office. She intends to overturn the cross-Strait dialogue and consultation table. She expects Beijing to wait passively until she trots out her "Taiwan consensus" and "cross-Strai dialogue working group." This is not mere fantasy. This is delusion. This is nothing short of suicide.
Full Text Below:
Following last weekend's presidential debate, Tsai Ing-wen presented her cross-Strait policy platform. One. She would repudiate the 1992 Consensus and replace it with her so-called "Taiwan consensus." Two. She would replace SEF and ARATS with her so-called "cross-Strait dialogue working group."
Take the 1992 Consensus. The Ma administration and the Beijing regime consider the 1992 Consensus the basis for cross-Strait relations. The Ma administration refers to the "1992 Consensus, one China, different interpretations." The Hu regime refers to the "1992 Consensus, seeking agreement while setting aside differences." The two sides' positions overlap. They hold different interpretations about the meaning of one China. But they concur with the wording used in the 2008 Bush-Hu hotline conversation. In other words, the 1992 Consensus means the Republic of China must return to Republic of China as defined in the Constitution of the Republic of China. It must return to "one China, different interpretations." But Taiwan independence forces have taken Tsai Ing-wen hostage. She refuses to accept the Constitition of the Republic of China and "one China, different interpretations." She refuses to accept the 1992 Consensus. President Ma Ying-jeou repeatedly asked Tsai Ing-wen why she refuses to accept the 1992 Consensus. After all, the "one China" in the 1992 Consensus is the Republic of China. Tsai Ing-wen's unspoken answer was how can the Taiwan independence movement possibly accept it?
The 1992 Consensus is a term used by authorities on both sides of the Taiwan Strait almost every day. Yet Tsai Ing-wen stubbornly insists that it "does not exist." Instead, she would replace the 1992 Consensus with the clearly non-existent "Taiwan consensus."
Tsai Ing-wen says the "Taiwan consensus" is a "democratic process." In other words, the "Taiwan consensus" has yet to be debated and studied, let alone turned into law. It is currently nothing more than an empty suggestion.
Tsai Ing-wen's so-called "Taiwan consensus" has two problems. One. Suppose the "Taiwan consensus" actually does "start over from a blank slate?" Suppose it actually is a "democratic process?" If it is, then Tsai Ing-wen must repudiate it for the same reason she repudiates the 1992 Consensus. She must officially forsake the "Taiwan Independence Party Platform" and the "Resolution for a Normal Nation." After all, these Taiwan independence programs have never been approved by the "democratic process." In fact the 1992 Consensus was the cornerstone of Ma Ying-jeou's National Policy Platform during the 2008 presidential election. How can Tsai claim it has not been subjected to the "democratic process?" Two. Tsai must first explain her own position on a number of matters. Doesn't the Constitution of the Republic of China represent the constitutional and legal consensus on Taiwan? If it does, then why refuse to accept "one China, different interpretations?" If it does not, then why not openly repudiate the Republic of China? Why not openly champion Taiwan independence?
Now let us address the matter of the SEF and ARATS. Tsai Ing-wen has proposed a "cross-Strait dialogue working group." She has done so because she realizes that if she is elected, the SEF and ARATS dialogue mechanism will disintegrate. This is why she feels compelled to establish a "cross-Strait dialogue working group."
In sum, Tsai Ing-wen's cross-strait policy framework has two problems. One. She stubbornly insists on denying the existence of the 1992 Consensus, which already exists and has worked perfectly for years, and replacing it with her so-called "Taiwan Consensus." Two. She stubbornly insists on nullifying the SEF and ARATS, two long-established, smoothly-operating cross-Strait groups, and replacing them with her so-called "cross-Strait dialogue working group." But both Tsai's "Taiwan consensus" and "cross-Strait dialogue working group" are empty shells. Nobody has any idea what they actually mean.
Beijing has already warned Tsai Ing-wen not to harbor "three illusions." Beijing says the DPP harbors "three illusions." One. The Democratic Progressive Party will return to power, sooner or later, The Mainland must face this fact. Actually the first question the Mainland must ask is "Does the DPP accept the 1992 consensus?" Two. Beijing says if the Democratic Progressive Party returns to power it may try to persuade the Mainland to reach an "alternative consensus." It may try to persuade Beijing to accept Tsai Ing-wen's "Taiwan consensus." Three. Beijing says the DPP intends to steal credit for any number of agreements reached over the past three years as the result of cross-Strait rapproachment. Does Tsai Ing-wen really think she can successfully steal credit for ECFA, direct flights, and Mainland tourists coming to Taiwan?
Mainland policy advisor Zhou Zhihuai is a spokesperson for the Beijing authorities. Zhou warned the DPP not to harbor "three illusions." He warned the DPP to forsake Taiwan independence, forsake its "three illusions," and to affirm the 1992 Consensus, He said "There is no alternative." Without the 1992 Consensus, cross-Strait peaceful development will run aground. Zhou Zhihuai said the 1992 Consensus is Beijing's bottom line. The DPP must face this fact.
Prior to this, Hu Jintao made it clear that the 1992 consensus is a prerequisite for cross-Strait dialogue and consultation. Would Tsai Ing-wen's "cross-Strait dialogue working group" adhere to this premise? Hu also made it clear that the 1992 Consensus is an important basis for peaceful development Would this be part of Tsai Ing-wen's "Taiwan consensus?" Taiwan Affairs Office Director Wang Yi also said "The 1992 Consensus cannot be denied."
The President of the Republic of China must abide by the 1992 Consensus. One China, different interpretations is consistent with the Constitution. For the Beijing authorities, the 1992 Consensus allows "seeking commonalities while shelving disagreements," while opposing Taiwan independence. Tsai Ing-wen refuses to recognize the 1992 Consensus. To the public on Taiwan, she has cast doubts about her allegiance to the Constitution. To the Beijing authorities, she has marked herself as a champion of Taiwan independence. Her reckless unilateralism has provoked clashes on Taiwan and in Beijing. Even assuming her demagogic "Three Little Pigs" election ploy wins her the election, the nation will be in turmoil, within and without. She will be hoisted on her own petard.
In sum, Tsai Ing-wen intends to shred the 1992 Consensus immediately upon taking office. She intends to overturn the cross-Strait dialogue and consultation table. She expects Beijing to wait passively until she trots out her "Taiwan consensus" and "cross-Strai dialogue working group."
This is not mere fantasy. This is delusion. This is nothing short of suicide.