The DPP Must Not Play Taiwan Independence Tricks
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China)
January 10, 2014
Summary: Circuses often offer the spinning plate trick. Jugglers spin a number of plates on top of bamboo poles. The trick requires a great deal of practice. The Democratic Progressive Party has its own spinning plate trick. It is a dangerous trick, rife with perils. Yesterday the DPP was supposed to issue a "Cross-Strait Policy Summary Report." Instead, the report was demoted to a "Cross-Strait Policy Review Minutes." In other words, the DPP's spinning plates came crashing to the floor.
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Circuses often offer the spinning plate trick. Jugglers spin a number of plates on top of bamboo poles. The trick requires a great deal of practice. The Democratic Progressive Party has its own spinning plate trick. It is a dangerous trick, rife with perils. Yesterday the DPP was supposed to issue a "Cross-Strait Policy Summary Report." Instead, the report was demoted to a "Cross-Strait Policy Review Minutes." In other words, the DPP's spinning plates came crashing to the floor.
The DPP's Taiwan independence spinning plates trick used three plates. The first plate was "freezing Taiwan independence." Ker Chien-ming proposed "freezing Taiwan independence." Lin Cho-shui speculates that Ker Chien-ming coordinated with Beijing and the DPP before making the proposal. Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office heaped high praise on Ker Chien-ming, saying that "someone in the know issued an urgent message." Su Tseng-chang said "Freezing the Taiwan independence party platform is not on the agenda." Tsai Ing-wen said "I am unaware of its source." Lin said Su's remarks and Tsai's remarks were evidence of advance coordination. Ker Chien-ming has never been a standard-bearer for DPP ideology. He is a pragmatist whose first concern is making political deals. His "freeze Taiwan independence" showed Beijing the DPP's asking cross-strait policy asking price. From this day forward, the DPP's cross-strait policy asking price can never be any higher. "Freezing Taiwan independence" is its most recent asking price. The asking price can only fall. It can never again rise.
The second plate was yesterday's newly issued "Cross-Strait Policy Review Minutes." The original draft of this [Mainland] China Policy called for "DPP dialogue with the CCP based on a constitutional consensus." But Beijing's State Council Taiwan Affairs Office said beforehand that "The term constitutional consensus blurs Taiwan independence advocacy, therefore it is unacceptable." In other words, a Mainland policy involving a "constitutional consensus" was clearly unacceptable to Beijing. The DPP deliberately ran headlong into a brick wall. Is this sort of call to arms really the DPP's Mainland policy? Such a Mainland policy cannot compete with Ker Chien-ming's "freezing Taiwan independence" proposal. Nor can it compete with Frank Hsieh's "constitutional one China" proposal. As a result, the term "constitutional consensus" vanished without a trace from the minutes, leaving only the "next phase discussions."
The third plate was the trade in services agreement. In cross-strait policy, political and economic considerations must be coordinated. Put bluntly, advocating Taiwan independence means opposition to the trade in services agreement. If one has decided that one "cannot turn the clock back and promote Taiwan independence," then there is no reason to oppose this version of the trade in services agreement. Yet Ker Chien-ming has obstructed passage of the trade in services agreement in the legislature, even as he called for freezing Taiwan independence outside the legislature. Ker Chien-ming contradicts himself on cross-strait policy. He reflects the contradictions in the DPP's cross-strait policy.
The DPP currently advocates a cross-strait policy that Beijing openly refers to as "fuzzy Taiwan independence." Some insiders advocate "freezing Taiwan independence" even as the party maliciously obstructs a win/win cross-Strait trade in services agreement. The DPP failed at its spinning plates trick. It is sure to end up picking broken plates off the floor in panic.
Ker Chien-ming has already announced a low asking price. If the DPP wants to join the cross-strait bidding war, the minimum bid must be "Freezing Taiwan independence." The DPP can no longer trot out its 1999 "Resolution on Taiwan's Future." It has already replaced the 1991 "Taiwan independence party platform." According to the DPP's own logic, the 2007 "Resolution for a Normal Nation" has already replaced the 1999 "Resolution on Taiwan's Future." The Chen government's Taiwan independence antics between 2000 and 2008 already shredded the " Resolution on Taiwan's Future." The "Resolution on Taiwan's Future" expressly advocates "abandoning the one China principle," or what is currently referred to as the "one China framework." It was rejected by Beijing long ago. That path is a dead end. The "constitutional consensus" remains a "fuzzy concept." Its sole purpose was to enable the DPP to dodge the "different constitutional interpretations" and "constitutional one China" concepts. The "Review of the Minutes" proposed exchanges with local governments and think tanks. In fact, Chen Chu, Su Chih-fen, Lai Ching-teh have already visited the Mainland or Hong Kong. This proposal is already behind the curve, politically speaking. On the one hand the DPP insists it wants to create a "friendly environment" for Mainland spouses, Mainland students, and Mainland tourists. On the other hand, it maliciously obstructs the trade in services agreement. Is this not a contradiction? As we can see, the "Review of the Minutes" is nothing more than an unpresentable pile of broken plates.
As the above shows, Ker Chien-ming's call for "freezing Taiwan independence" is now the DPP's cross-strait asking price. Lin Cho-shui already realizes what has happened. He warned Ker Chien-ming that the next step after "Freezing Taiwan independence" will the "one China framework." Lin Cho-shui is right. The DPP is afraid to advocate Taiwan independence. (It makes no difference whether the DPP says it has replaced Taiwan independence with something else, or has "frozen" it. The DPP is also unwilling to return to the "one China framework." But it must return to the "one China framework under a one China Constitution." It cannot repudiate the "one China Constitution." It must uphold in the dignity and interests of the Republic of China's "one China framework."
The DPP must not attempt the Taiwan independence plate spinning trick. It must eventually return to the "one China framework under the ROC Constitution." This must be the DPP's next step. It has no other way out.
2014.01.10 04:25 am