Monday, January 27, 2014

Let Su Tseng-chang Suffer the Consequences

Let Su Tseng-chang Suffer the Consequences
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China)
A Translation
January 28, 2014

Summary: The future of cross-strait relations affects the welfare of the people. Do not force the people live in fear. Do not make cross-strait relations grind to a halt. Do not encourage the DPP to remain mired in quicksand. Frank Hsieh said, "Let Su Tseng-chang suffer the consequences." We may have no other choice.

Full text below:

It is now 2014. The atmosphere of the Seven in One Elections is gradually enveloping Taiwan. Election season has arrived. We initially assumed that cross-strait relations would develop along a preordained track. The Ma administration's priorities must be security, stability, and election victory. At the very least, it must not give its opponents any pretext to attack it. If it loses power it will not matter how grand its ambitions were. All it will be able to do is rage at its fate. The big picture however, is not what most people imagine it to be.

Consider cross-strait relations. Exchanges have continued all year. Cross-strait representative offices have been established. The trade in services and trade in goods agreements have been signed. These are bright spots. Mainland Affairs Council Chief Wang Yu-chi and Zhang Zhijun, Director of Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office, met following the Spring Festival. They attempted to pave the way for a Ma Xi Meeting at APEC. But that may be difficult to arrange. Authorities on both sides may want it. But election pressures may limit what they can do. There might not be any major breakthrough.

Meanwhile, observers have watched the DPP undergo policy transformation and power change. Frank Hsieh visited the Mainland and advocated a "constitutional consensus." The impact is still being felt. DPP legislative whip Ker Chien-ming advocated freezing the Taiwan independence party platform. His proposal has faded into obscurity. But it too made waves. On January 15, key members of the Thinking Taiwan Foundation visited the mainland for a "professional exchange" on economics. Such activities provoke curiosity about Beijing's rapid response capabilities. We hope to make an accurate assessment. But we doubt this was a "DPP to CCP exchange." The DPP has not forsaken its separatist stance, At most this was an exchange between CCP agencies or research institutions and DPP individuals or foundations. We need not read too much into it.

The CCP has long been adept at "United Front" tactics. It has long been adept at noting and exploiting its enemy's internal squabbles, at uniting with the left, at appealing to the center, in order to attack the right. It has long been skilled at distinguishing between its primary enemies and its secondary enemies, and between its leaders and followers. It has long been skilled at distinguishing between those who can be won over, and those who must be fought. They use tomorrow's enemies to fight today's enemies. They have waged both wars of words and wars with weapons. A war of words values reason. It requires propaganda. A war with weapons values power. It requires strength. The KMT is no match for the CCP. The DPP has learned many of the tricks that the CCP used against the KMT. These include using the countryside to lay seige to the cities. The DPP is adept at using propaganda and organizing mass movements. Many DPP politicians have even stood on the podium with the CCP and sung the "Internationale." But is the DPP a match for the CCP? That is highly debatable.

Consider the downside. Some have concluded that the Mainland authorities are attempting to divide and conquer the DPP, to win them over and change them, to exploit factional rivalries within the DPP, the standoff between the "two suns," and differences between many of its elders. Some have concluded that the Mainland authorities are attempting to use quantitative change to effect qualitative change, starting small but growing large, to force the DPP to abandon its secessionist ideology. Others have concluded that Beijing feels it already has a handle on the strategic picture, that it stands on right side of history, and that time is on its side. They have concluded that Beijing feels it commands nationalist sentiment, that its strategy reflects current global realities, and that its current conduct reflects its contempt for its enemies. Strategically, it adheres to its principles. Tactically, it does not underestimate its enemies. Methodologically, it retains its flexibility.

CCP strategic principles or struggle methods are worth noting. But Taiwan's own positions and practices are more important. We feel compelled to make some veiled criticisms of President Ma's "no reunification, no Taiwan independence, no use of force" stance. We have no objections to "no Taiwan independence" and "no use of force." But our nation is the Republic of China. It goes without saying that we insist on national unity and national revival. The difference between us and the CCP is the manner by which, and conditions under which national reunification and national revival are achieved. We understand the DPP's views regarding "Taiwan consciousness." But it must not become a fig leaf for separatism. It must not become a basis for Taiwan independence. A future in which Taiwan is not part of China, incarcerates us within the limits of Taiwan for temporary safety. This "hiding out in a remote corner" mindset is unworthy of us. The Republic of China deserves better. Our sons and grandsons deserve better. This mindset deprives them of the opportunity to be part of China's future.

Therefore the DPP must undergo reform, the sooner the better. It must adopt new principles. It must undergo fundamental change. Su Tseng-chang visited the UK SOAS on the 24th, and declared that the DPP would not amend its Taiwan independence party platform. We strongly condemn his statement. We endorse former Premier Frank Hsieh's view. Hsieh said "The DPP is large. It cannot be governed by a single individual. Su Tseng-chang's leadership of the DPP falls far short of public expectations." We agree with those DPP elected representatives who said, "Su Tseng-chang has no sense of direction and no point of view."

The future of cross-strait relations affects the welfare of the people. Do not force the people live in fear. Do not make cross-strait relations grind to a halt. Do not encourage the DPP to remain mired in quicksand. Frank Hsieh said, "Let Su Tseng-chang suffer the consequences." We may have no other choice.

中國時報 本報訊 2014年01月28日 04:09









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