Su Tseng-chang Will Enable Beijing to Eat the DPP's Lunch
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China)
November 29, 2013
Summary: The DPP will conclude its Huashan Conference in December. Its "Summary Report on [Mainland] China Policy" will be published in January of next year. Only a month remains in which to change course. Su Tseng-chang must think hard. He must cease being intractable. He must not wait for the 2016 presidential campaign or the election of a DPP president, only to be eaten by Beijing.
Full text below:
The DPP "Summary Report on [Mainland] China Policy" calls for "constitutional consensus" as the basis for exchanges with Mainland China. Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Fan Liqing responded. He said the DPP must repudiate its Taiwan independence and "one country on each side" claims. Fan said "using fuzzy concepts (such as so-called constitutional consensus) as the political basis for exchanges with the Mainland is unacceptable."
Su Tseng-chang shot back. He said, "This shows that the other side is intractable and is determined to gobble up Taiwan." Actually the widely held consensus is that Su Tseng-chang has hijacked DPP cross-strait policy, and that if he remains intractable, Beijing will gobble up the DPP.
The DPP must alter its cross-strait policy. It can no longer remain intractable. The DPP longs for a return to power in 2016. If the DPP fails to return to power, it can clamor for Taiwan independence all it wants, but it will merely become irrelevant. Su Tseng-chang has set his sights on the 2016 presidential election. But he cannot bring himself to abandon his Taiwan independence stance and his advocacy of "one country on each side." Does he really intend to wait until he is elected president, then butt heads with Beijing over a "constitutional consensus?" Besides, suppose Su Tseng-chang is defeated in the DPP presidential primary? Is another DPP candidate such as Tsai Ing-wen, supposed to clash with Beijing over "constitutional consensus?"
A DPP presidential candidate may not may not win in 2016. But can he or she force Beijing to accept the DPP's "constitutional consensus?" Can the DPP refuse Beijing's call to "repudiate Taiwan independence and the advocacy of one country on each side?" When the time comes, the truth will emerge. There will be no surprises. Beijing will eat the DPP's lunch.
The DPP has only two cross-strait policy options. One. It can reject inclusion in any one China framework. These are Su Tseng-chang's own words. It can take the Taiwan independence path, the "one nation on each side" path. Two. It can acknowledge that "We can no longer take the Taiwan independence path. We can no longer turn back." These, ironically, are also Su Tseng-chang's words. It can fully include Taiwan in the "one China framework," i.e., the "one China constitution." It can engage in coopetition with the Mainland. It can acknowledge that Taiwan independence is a dead end. If the DPP attempts to promote Taiwan independence, Beijing will eat the DPP's lunch. The DPP must recognize that the only way to avoid this consequence is to recognize the "one China Constitution" and the "one China framework."
The DPP refuses to recognize the 1992 consensus. That is its most grievous mistake. If the DPP were to accept the 1992 consensus, and support "one China, different interpretations," it could use this still somewhat fuzzy concept to establish strategic depth. But if DPP rejects the strategic ambiguity of the 1992 consensus and "one China, different interpretations," Beijing must pressure the DPP to repudiate its Taiwan independence stance and its advocacy of "one country on each side." Beijing must demand that the DPP repudiate its "Taiwan Independence Party Platform." Once upon a time there was a room divider known as the 1992 consensus. It divided a single room into two spaces. But the DPP has destroyed the room divider. Now whenever one enters the room, one sees one undivided space. One immediately sees the DPP's altar, and its sacred icon, the "Taiwan Independence Party Platform," and its irresponsible claims. In 2016, the DPP presidential candidate may or may not be elected president. But he or she will be the focus of cross-Strait attention. The DPP will not be able to obfuscate or evade the issue. When the time comes, will the DPP eat Beijing's lunch? Or will Beijing eat the DPP's lunch?
Su Tseng-chang surely realizes that the DPP is mired in a cross-strait policy crisis. Otherwise, he would not have convened a months long cross-strait policy conference. Su Tseng-chang's problem is that he wants to have it both ways. He acts tough, but he is weak. On the one hand he realizes "we can no longer go back to Taiwan independence." On the other hand, he "rejects inclusion within the one China framework." One the one hand, he falls back on Frank Hsieh's "constitutional consensus." On the other hand, he equivocates and uses "constitutional consensus" as a weasel word and an escape clause. Su Tseng-chang said the DPP "can no longer go back to Taiwan independence." Therefore it is perfectly natural that Beijing would want the DPP to repudiate Taiwan independence and "one country on each side." If Su Tseng-chang cannot bring himself to do so, how can show Beijing has actually believes the DPP "can no longer go back to Taiwan independence?"
When Chen Shui-bian was running for president, former chairman Lin Yi-hsiung helped blaze a trail. The Democratic Progressive Party needs someone like Lin Yi-hsiung. Su Tseng-chang has hijacked the DPP party chairmanship in order to run for president. But inside and outside the DPP, support for Su remains weak. The will to transform DPP cross-strait policy also remains weak. As matters stand, Su Tseng-chang can no longer move down this road. Yet he clings to the party chairmanship. This makes it impossible for others to clear the way ahead. If this stalemate persists until 2016, the DPP presidential candidate will run for president. He or she may or may not win. But he or she will have to face Beijing's call to "repudiate the Taiwan independence party platform and return to the one China framework. At that point Beijing will surely eat the DPP's lunch. What's more, it will surely eat Taipei's lunch as well.
The DPP will conclude its Huashan Conference in December. Its "Summary Report on [Mainland] China Policy" will be published in January of next year. Only a month remains in which to change course. Su Tseng-chang must think hard. He must cease being intractable. He must not wait for the 2016 presidential campaign or the election of a DPP president, only to be eaten by Beijing.
2013.12.01 03:46 am