Is Our Chief Cross-Strait Negotiator Really a "Communist Agent?"
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
August 22, 2014
Summary: Lo and behold, Chang Hsien-yao's overnight resignation has been blown up
into "treason" for leaking state secrets. Investigators are even more
outspoken. They say Chang Hsien-yao may have been been "turned, and
become a Communist agent." They accused him of leaking at at least five
"secret" and "confidential" files to Mainland officials. Chang Hsien-yao
insists he is innocent, and termed this a 21st century "new white
terror." These developments are jaw-dropping.
Full Text Below:
Lo and behold, Chang Hsien-yao's overnight resignation has been blown up into "treason" for leaking state secrets. Investigators are even more outspoken. They say Chang Hsien-yao may have been been "turned, and become a Communist agent." They accused him of leaking at at least five "secret" and "confidential" files to Mainland officials. Chang Hsien-yao insists he is innocent, and termed this a 21st century "new white terror." These developments are jaw-dropping.
Chang Hsien-yao is the chief cross-Strait negotiator. He is Special Deputy Chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, as well as Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of the Straits Exchange Foundation. He is an extraordinarily important official. He bears primary responsibility as a buffer, and is trusted by his superiors. If such a person turns out to be a two-faced Janus who has betrayed his country and sold state secrets, then the ROC's interests have been seriously damaged. The consequences will be unimaginable.
By now everyone if full of questions. One. Suppose the allegations are true? How many state secrets passed through his hands to the other side? Two. What "poisoned fruit" might be hidden amidst the achievements and progress made by means of cross-Strait negotiations? Three. According to "fruit of the poisonous tree" theory, should all negotiations be nullified and begun all over again? Four. In the wake of this incident, how long will it be before the two sides can return to the negotiating table? Five. Who entrusted him with so much responsibility for negotiations? Do the high ranking officials who appointed him bear responsibility?
News of Chang Hsien-yao's resignation provoked all manner of speculation. Past incidents suggest he lacked discretion. For example, when the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun visited Taiwan, Chang Hsien-yao persuaded blue camp legislator Lai Shyh-bao to hand Zhang Zhijun a petition from a domestic religious group. Wang Yu-chi later concluded that this was "inappropriate." Chang Hsien-yao made arrangements for Zhang Zhijun to visit a pineapple cake factory. This smacked of "Mainland capital" involvement, and was also deemed inappropriate. The hoped for "Ma Xi meeting" at APEC was stillborn. It was later discovered that Chang Hsien-yao's loose lips were responsible. The meeting between James Soong and Xi Jinping was allegedly brokered by Chang Hsien-yao. These are probably the reasons he was forced to step down. But they are a long way from being a "Communist agent."
Was Chang Hsien-yao merely sloppy? Or did his sloppiness conceal ulterior motives? Observers have yet to reach a definitive conclusion. Wang Yu-chi tactfully asked Chang Hsien-yao to "resign and await an investigation." Instead, Chang lashed back. He said he was "sold out by his superiors." This provoked a Bureau of Investigation intervention, and accusations of treason. As one can see, he has long maintained a high-profile, and failed to exercise restraint. As a result he found himself in deep water.
But consider another perspective. This sort of high-profile, assertive style is markedly different from that of spies who betray their country and leak state secrets. According to the Bureau of Investigation, Chang Hsien-yao leaked at least five secrets to Mainland officials, and did so "over an extended period, in calculated fashion." They were "premeditated." The Bureau of Investigation is quite insistent. Presumably is has concrete evidence.
But even assuming Chang Hsien-yao leaked confidential material pertaining to cross-Strait talks, does that mean he "was turned and became a Communist agent?" That hardly follows. One must at least examine the content and the manner in which he allegedly passed on the information, including whether he received money or some other form of remuneration. In any case, the charge of "Communist agent" is far too serious and far too much of an exaggeration. The opposition DPP stands ready to accuse the Ma administration of being Communists at the drop of a hat. The KMT feels Chang's pain. It must tread carefully when responding to allegations that its own chief negotiator is a "Communist agent." It must let the evidence do the talking. It must not tolerate exaggeration.
Chang Hsien-yao became a member of the Sean Chen cabinet on February 2, 2002. He succeed Chao Chien-min as MAC Vice Chairman. At that time the chairman was Lai Shin-yuan. Six months later, Wang Yu-chi replaced Lai Chen-wei as chairman. Chang Hsien-yao became SEF Secretary-General in early February, when Kao Koong-lian resigned. He was ordered to serve as SEF Vice Chairman and Mainland Affairs Council Secretary-General. The appointment combined the two cross-Strait organizations' "official" and "buffer" status into one. It showed that the government intended to phase out the buffer. It reflected the Ma administration and the Executive Yuan's faith in Chang Hsien-yao's abilities. Who knew that just six months later, he would go from "master" of cross-Strait negotiations to a unspeakably evil "Communist agent?"
On the surface, the appointment of the SEF Vice Chairman as Mainland Affairs Council Secretary-General enabled the two organizations to work as one. In fact, having "one man wear two hats," suddenly transitioning from being an official, then back to civilian, led to role confusion. It became a vulnerabilty in the system. Did Chang Hsien-yao actually leak national security secrets? Assume that he did, and that he passed them on to others. If so, the vulnerability might be in the gray area where Chang Hsien-yao served simultaneously as SEF and MAC officials. This mater must be scrutinized to prevent future occurences.
The old anti-Communist, anti-Soviet slogan was "Communist agents are right beside you." Who knew that half a century later, in the wake of cross-Strait exchanges and direct links, Taiwan would be informed that its own master negotiator was a "Communist agent?" This is a scenario straight out of a spy movie. In any event, the Bureau of Investigation has boldly declared that Chang Hsien-yao was "turned" and became a Communist agent. Therefore one must ascertain the truth. Who if anyone "turned" him? What, if any, motive did he have? How did he operate, if he actually did? If one wishes to accuse the chief negotiator in cross-Strait talks of being a wolf in sheep's clothing, one must reveal his true colors for people to examine.
2014.08.22 02:17 am