China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
June 11, 2015
Executive Summary: As matters stand, Tsai Ing-wen may well be elected. She clearly knows that her Achilles Heel is cross-Strait relations. If she fails to handle this matter, she cannot complete her final mile to the presidency. Everyone knows her position is not about to change. Therefore the only she can win is to use clever word games. She knows that some people are easy to deceive. First get elected. Once she is in power, everything will be defined as she decides anyway, right?
Full Text Below:
Tsai Ing-wen, who will be representing the DPP in the 2016 presidential election, ended her visit to the US and returned to Taiwan yesterday. DPP supporters were ecstatic. She passed her oral exam with Uncle Sam with flying colors. The DPP has overcome the biggest hurdle in the way of assuming power. Indeed, she has received the blessing of Uncle Sam and the support of pale green and pale blue voters. She has mastered campaign rhetoric spin control. Since publicly "affirming the Republic of China", she has been repeating the mantra, "maintaining the status quo". More recently, in response to questions about the 1992 consensus, she has been repeating the mantra, "seeking common ground while shelving differences". She will apparently have no problem negotiating the final mile on the path to the presidency. After all, as the chairperson of a party dedicated to the realization of Taiwan independence, she has said just about all she can say, hasn't she?
The question of course is, do her recent remarks represent an ideological transformation, or were they merely a way to slip past the gatekeepers? Unfortunately the overall picture suggests it is the latter. If Tsai Ing-wen is willing to give straight answers to three questions, the answer will be crystal clear. One. Does her "affirmation of the Republic of China" mean the Taiwan Independence Party Platform is no longer in effect? Is the "two states theory" no longer a problem? Two. Does "maintaining the status quo" mean she accepts the realities of the cross-Strait status quo created by the Ma Government? Three. Does her "seeking of common ground, and shelving of differences" mean she has accepted the 1992 consensus?
As one can imagine, Tsai Ing-wen will never give a straight answer to any of the above questions. After all, if her answer was "All of the above", why would she even bother to run for office? Why would she even bother blasting the Ma government? Wouldn't the Ma government be doing exactly what she says she wants? She would not need to say whether she was opposed to Taiwan independence. Conversely, if the answer was "None of the above", would that not be a public admission that her position has not changed, and that she has merely been playing word games to get elected?
Put simply, this "moderate" position she has adopted leaves enormous room for interpretation. After all, she will say whatever you want to hear. How should her terms be defined? How should they be interpreted? Doesn't she have the final say on what she meant? Affirm the Republic of China? Of course! After all, she is not affirming Ma Ying-jeou's Republic of China, the one founded in 1912. She is affirming the "Republic of China" as defined under her own "two states theory". Maintain the status quo? But what is the "status quo"? Who defines what it is and is not? Who says Tsai Ing-wen can't define it any way she wishes? She won't tell you now how she defines it of course. She will tell you only after she is elected. The pursuit of common ground, and the shelving of differences? Who says she cannot take your "common ground" and redefine that as her "differences"?
Tsai Ing-wen's recent wave of word games recalls 2000, when Chen Shui-bian's "Five Noes" included pledges not to declare independence, not to change the name of the nation, not to incorporate the two-states theory into the constitution, not to promote a referendum to change the status quo on reunification vs. independence, not to repeal the National Unification Guidelines or the National Unification Council. His pledge cooled the looming cross-Strait crisis. But upon taking office he continued to incite cross-Strait conflict, engage in scorched earth diplomacy, and demand a popular referendum to purchase missiles. He forced Washington and Beijing to come forward and "jointly govern Taiwan". Even after stepping down, he claimed that the "Cape 700 million" was a Taiwan independence "nation building fund". Chen Shui-bian's political rhetoric was actually clearer than Tsai Ing-wen's at the time.
In other words, when we seek assurances from politicians, we cannot simply listen to what they say. We must look at what they doe. When Tsai Ing-wen was DPP Vice Premier, she called for the resumption of work on the Number Four Nuclear Power Plant. Now however, she opposes the Number Four Nuclear Power Plant more vehemently than anyone. Back then, she recruited a whole bunch of people to study direct air links across the Taiwan Strait. In the end however, she found a bunch of reasons not to open direct air links. Put bluntly, if the DPP had been in power over the past few years, the current status quo, with warm people to people exchanges, would not even exist. When the Chen regime repudiated the 1992 consensus back then, the rhetoric was authored by none other than Tsai Ing-wen herself. Are we to believe she has suddenly changed her mind and is "seeking common ground while shelving differences"? Are we to believe she is willing to publicly admit that her past behavior was dead wrong?
Most importantly, the party she leads today is still engaging in indiscriminate red baiting. It continues to obstruct all bills affecting the two sides shared future. It continues to block the STA. The MTA? Don't ask! Many Mainland students who came to Taiwan to study remain under onerous "three limits, six noes" constraints. They remain subject to discriminatory treatment. These are all consequences of Tsai Ing-wen's leadership of the DPP. Are her "maintaining the status quo" and "seeking common ground while shelving differences" nothing more than word games?
As matters stand, Tsai Ing-wen may well be elected. She clearly knows that her Achilles Heel is cross-Strait relations. If she fails to handle this matter, she cannot complete her final mile to the presidency. Everyone knows her position is not about to change. Therefore the only she can win is to use clever word games. She knows that some people are easy to deceive. First get elected. Once she is in power, everything will be defined as she decides anyway, right?
民進黨支持者歡心鼓舞，認為她已通過美國「口試」， 為民進黨取得政權克服了最艱困的障礙。確實， 她為了爭取美國的認同及淺綠與淺藍民眾的支持， 已將政治修辭語言藝術發揮到極致。繼公開表態「認同中華民國」 後，一路追加倡議要「維持現狀」，日前更針對兩岸「九二共識」 議題，表達要持續追求「求同存異」， 看來她應該可以跨過上次大選的最後一哩路魔障， 畢竟以一個實現台獨建國為理念的政黨主席而言， 她能表達的都表達了，不是嗎？
還是企圖達成「頭過身過」目標的語言遊戲？很遺憾， 綜合研判起來，好像是更接近後者。請蔡英文直接回答3個問題， 答案就很清楚。第一，所謂的「認同中華民國」，是否表示「 台獨黨綱」已不復存？再也沒有「兩國論」的問題？第二，所謂的「 維持現狀」， 是表示接受馬政府所推動的兩岸現狀發展的所有現實嗎？第三， 所謂的對「九二共識」持續追求「求同存異」， 可以理解為是接受或承認兩岸之間的「九二共識」嗎？
以上皆是」，那她還何必出來選？還何必猛批馬政府？ 馬政府所做的不就是她所主張的？更不必說她是否「反獨」了。 而如果答案是「以上皆非」， 那不就是公開承認她的立場一點都沒變， 這一切的一切不過是為了當選所設計的一組語言遊戲罷了！
反正話是說給你聽的，怎麼定義？怎麼解釋？照樣可以是我說了算， 不是嗎？「認同中華民國」！當然不是你馬英九那個「1912年成 立的中華民國」，而是我蔡英文設計「兩國論」下的「中華民國」。 「維持現狀」？重點是「現狀」究竟是歸誰定義，不是嗎？ 誰說我蔡英文不能有個定義？只不過現在不能說， 等當選後再告訴你！追求「求同存異」？誰說不可以拿你的「同」 來將就我的「異」？
兩岸關係所提出的「四不一沒有」，所謂「不宣布獨立， 不更改國號，不推動兩國論入憲，不會推動改變現狀的統獨公投， 也沒有廢除《國統綱領》與國統會的問題」， 那時節這段政治表述有效緩和了一觸即發的兩岸危機， 然而他上任後卻不斷激化兩岸關係，烽火外交、買飛彈公投， 逼得美中出面「共管台灣」，甚至到卸任後被追出的「海角七億」， 都公開宣稱是所謂「建國基金」。陳水扁當時的政治語言， 較之此刻的蔡英文的政治表述，還要立場清晰得許多啊！
得要看他做什麼。蔡英文當年在民進黨執政年代擔任副閣揆時， 積極推動核四復建，如今她反核四比誰都大聲； 她當年找一堆人研究兩岸直航，最後找了一堆理由就是不願開放， 講直白一些，若是這幾年還是民進黨執政， 根本不可能出現當下兩岸民間熱絡交往的「現狀」！ 扁政府當年全盤否定「九二共識」之際，整個論述的主導人就是她， 如今她突然改口為「求同存異」了！她難道願意公開坦承， 過往的言行，其實都是錯的嗎？
還在持續擋下所有攸關兩岸前景的法案，服貿被擋下了， 貨貿法案談都不必談，迄今為止這麼多來到台灣留學、遊學的陸生， 還在「三限六不」的限制下，面臨被歧視的待遇，這一切的一切， 都是蔡英文所領導的民進黨所為，如果她所謂的「維持現狀」， 所謂的「求同存異」，其實就是這樣，那麼試問：這一切的話語， 不就是結結實實的一場語言遊戲的搬演嗎？
她清楚知道她的罩門是在「兩岸」，這個議題不搞定， 她總統之路的最後一哩走不完，但誰都知道她的立場不會改， 所以唯一的法門，就是發展一套精心設計的語言遊戲！因為她知道， 有些人就是好騙，反正先當選再說，只要贏得政權， 一切都是我說了算，不是嗎？