China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
September 18, 2015
Executive Summary: Does the KMT government care about the survival of the Republic of China? Does it value the historical facts about the Republic of China? Does it want to reaffirm the connections between the Republic of China and Taiwan, and the two sides of the Taiwan Strait? If it does, then the 70th anniversary of Taiwan retrocession must be treated as an festival of historic importance. It must be made a grand commemoration, with more substance, more discussion, and more activities highlighting the historic significance of Taiwan's retrocession. This will help preserve the Republic of China. This will differentiate between the real Republic of China and the Taiwan independence movement's "Frozen Republic of China" and "Hollowed Out Republic of China”.
Full Text Below:
The 2016 election, by accident or otherwise, now revolves around the Republic of China -- its definition, its history and its future. Was this an accident? During past national elections on Taiwan, the core issue was usually reunification vs. independence. The dispute was usually between Taiwan independence and opposition to Taiwan independence. It was usually between maintaining the status quo and changing to the status quo. Since the Sunflower Student Movement so-called "natural independence" rhetoric has become ubiquitous. A major battle between reunification and independence is imminent. Tsai Ing-wen is waging a campaign based on maintaining the status quo. While remaining deliberately ambiguous on Diaoyutai, history curriculum reform, comfort women, Japanese colonial rule, and the commemoration of the War of Resistance Against Japan. She has announced her intention to participate in the National Day celebration. As a result, the struggle between reunification and independence has become a struggle between conflicting definitions of the Republic of China and conflicting historical interpretations of the War of Resistance Against Japan.
Was this something other than an accident? Mainland China has risen. Taiwan independence consciousness has deepened. The peaceful development and cross-Strait opening that began in 2005, has now reached a turning point. The political status of the two sides and the Republic of China's survival and future, have become issues the ruling and opposition parties on Taiwan cannot avoid. They must deal with the political status of the ROC and PRC. They must clear up questions about the Republic of China and its continued existence. They must resolve a number of lingering historical controversies. These include the meaning of the Xinhai Revolution, the definition of the KMT/CCP civil war, the facts of the War of Resistance Against Japan, and the significance of Taiwan's retrocession to China. These issues are inescapable and cannot be avoided.
Under Tsai Ing-wen, the DPP has adopted a "maintain the status quo" path. It has announced that it will accept the constitutional framework of the Republic of China. It will participate in this year's Republic of China National Day celebration. It has even posed as a defender of the ROC's leadership role during the war, and criticized Lien Chan for attending the victory parade in Beijing. It is deliberately creating a superficial blue-green consensus in order to undermine KMT solidarity and the KMT's historical narrative.
DDP mouthpieces are proclaiming that the DPP has always defended the Republic of China, even though the DPP flatly refuses to repeal the Taiwan independence party platform, and refuses to forsake Taiwan independence. This confirms that the DPP's real intent is to empty the name “Republic of China” of substance. It is to freeze the Republic of China. It is to achieve its end game of Taiwan independence, by hollowing out the Republic of China.
Members of the public and DPP insiders alike are demanding the abolition of the Taiwan independence party platform. The DPP's pro forma response has been to claim that the Taiwan independence party platform has essentially been frozen, and that the Taiwan independence party platform has been replaced by the Resolution on Taiwan's Future. But the Resolution on Taiwan's Future asserts that "Taiwan is a sovereign and independent country, its sovereignty is limited to Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and other nearby islands". It asserts that "Taiwan is called the Republic of China in accordance with the current constitution, but does not belong to the People's Republic of China". The DPP's definition of the Republic of China is temporary, vague, and a total departure from the Republic of China envisioned in the "Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China", "prior to national reunification". Naturally it flatly contradicts Tsai Ing-wen's pledges to "maintain the status quo" and "abide by the Republic of China's existing constitutional framework".
The Resolution on Taiwan's Future is ostensibly a compromise revision of the DPP's Taiwan independence party platform. In fact it is an evasive maneuver by the Taiwan independence movement. Instead of repudiating the Republic of China outright, it asserts that the "Republic of China is Taiwan", and that "Taiwan is the Republic of China". The Resolution on Taiwan's Future is simply the Taiwan independence party platform Version 2.0. Meanwhile, the "Resolution on a Normal Nation" adopted in 2007, calls for the “rectification of names and the authoring of a new constitution. Substantively speaking, it is even more radical than the Taiwan independence party platform. The DPP's "Resolution on a Normal Nation” is even more recent than the Resolution on Taiwan's Future. Therefore it represents the DPP's current position. The DPP now postures as "defender of the Republic of China”. In fact it is deceiving part of the electorate. This deception has been subject to strict scrutiny. The Republic of China government and the ruling Kuomintang must do something about this.
Recently, Lien Chan went to the Mainland to participate in the "70th anniversary Commemoration of the Chinese Peoples' War of Resistance Against Japan and Victory in the Global Anti-Fascist War". His visit provoked political controversy. Initially the dispute was over the historical interpretation of the war. But the Mainland has been changing its interpretation of history. It has been gradually rehabilitating the image and contribution of the National Revolutionary Army, especially in public television programs on the Mainland. Differences have been narrowed. Remaining differences should be controlled and resolved gradually, rather than widened deliberately. In particular they should not undermine peaceful cross-strait relations.
Lien Chan's visit to the Mainland provoked controversy. It also prompted many people to rethink the ROC government's commemoration of the War of Resistance Against Japan. Why has any commemoration been seen in an increasingly negative light over the past few years? The eight-year long war that led to the recovery of Taiwan is closely related to the legitimacy of the Republic of China on Taiwan, and inseparable from its legality. Why so little interest in commemorating the historical facts? Why have the facts and significance of Taiwan retrocession been buried? Taiwan Retrocession Day is not even accorded the respect of a legal holiday. The so-called commemoration is an afterthought and fails utterly to highlight its historical importance and practical significance.
Does the KMT government care about the survival of the Republic of China? Does it value the historical facts about the Republic of China? Does it want to reaffirm the connections between the Republic of China and Taiwan, and the two sides of the Taiwan Strait? If it does, then the 70th anniversary of Taiwan retrocession must be treated as an festival of historic importance. It must be made a grand commemoration, with more substance, more discussion, and more activities highlighting the historic significance of Taiwan's retrocession. This will help preserve the Republic of China. This will differentiate between the real Republic of China and the Taiwan independence movement's "Frozen Republic of China" and "Hollowed Out Republic of China”.
成為圍繞中華民國的定義、歷史與未來之角力戰。說是「意外」， 主要在於台灣過去的全國性選舉，核心議題往往是統獨， 可能是台獨與反台獨、維持現狀與反親中賣台之爭。 尤其太陽花學運後，「天然獨」、「自然獨」說法甚囂塵上， 眼見統獨大戰即將再度演出，選戰開打蔡英文卻提出維持現狀論， 並對釣魚台、歷史課綱、慰安婦、 日本統治台灣時期的評價議題到抗戰紀念等議題， 均保持模糊性的態度，又宣布有意參加國慶大典， 統獨之戰驟然位移成了中華民國定義之戰、歷史詮釋之戰。
及台獨意識的進一步茁壯，自2005年以來開啟的兩岸和平發展道 路，已經到了重大的轉折期，兩岸政治定位的課題、 也就是中華民國未來生存發展方向的問題， 已經是台灣朝野政黨所無法迴避的大哉問，要處理兩岸政治定位， 兩岸都不得不面對「中華民國」的存在，要談清楚中華民國的現在， 就不能不清理中華民國歷史遺留的種種難題， 遠從辛亥革命的意義與功過、到國共內戰的評價與定位， 再到抗戰史實與詮釋，以及台灣光復、 回歸中國的事實與意義都是逃避不了、閃躲不了的問題。
也宣布將接受中華民國憲政體制，參加今年的中華民國國慶慶典， 更在抗戰史實的爭議中，突兀的扮演連戰的反對者， 裝扮成中華民國抗戰史實的捍衛者，刻意塑造了所謂的藍綠共識， 很可能其目標只是在裂解國民黨的團結，崩壞國民黨的歷史論述。
透過發言人之口宣稱一直捍衛中華民國的民進黨， 完全拒絕廢除台獨黨綱，從來不願表明反對、放棄台獨主張， 這凸顯民進黨的中華民國論述實質上是在掏空中華民國，是「 中華民國凍結論」，是讓中華民國空洞化的主張與實踐。
民進黨的回應始終是台獨黨綱已經在實質上被凍結， 台獨黨綱已經被後來的台灣前途決議文所覆蓋，然而， 台灣前途決議文關於兩岸政治定位的表述是「 台灣是一主權獨立國家，其主權領域僅及於台澎金馬與其附屬島嶼」 ，「台灣，固然依目前憲法稱為中華民國， 但與中華人民共和國互不隸屬」，其中中華民國的定位是暫時的、 是模糊的，更是完全背離《中華民國憲法增修條文》關於「 國家統一前」的前提與未來願景，自然也與蔡英文的「維持現狀論」 、「遵循中華民國現行憲政體制論」相矛盾。
但實際上卻是台獨運動的轉進，由否定中華民國改為「 中華民國就是台灣」、「台灣就是中華民國」的台獨2.0進化版。 至於2007年通過的「正常國家決議文」， 則是激進的追求正名制憲，在實質上是比台獨黨綱更激進的文件。 依照民進黨人的「覆蓋說」，「正常國家決議文」 比台灣前途決議文更為新近，應該才是民進黨當前的主張。 民進黨現在擺出了「中華民國捍衛者」的姿態， 確實能起著矇混部分選民的作用，這需經過嚴格的檢驗， 有待中華民國政府、執政的國民黨拿出切切實實的辦法。
紀念中國人民抗日戰爭暨世界反法西斯戰爭勝利70周年大會」， 引發政治爭議。兩岸本來對抗戰歷史的評價等問題就存在分歧， 但這樣的分歧隨著大陸方面史觀的調整，已逐漸接近， 尤其在大陸的大眾影視節目中， 國民革命軍的歷史形象與評價逐步獲得平反， 既存的分歧與爭議應要得到管控，逐步謀求解決，而非刻意擴大， 尤其不應因此影響兩岸關係和平發展的進程和氛圍。
為何過去幾年時間內，中華民國政府在紀念抗戰上越來越消極， 八年抗戰與台灣光復息息相關， 與中華民國在台灣的正當性與合法性密不可分， 為什麼不但抗戰史實與紀念乏人問津， 台灣光復的史實與意義也隱而不彰，台灣光復節更是只紀念不放假， 所謂的紀念也是聊備一格，無法彰顯其重要性與現實意義。
如果真正重視中華民國的史實， 如果真正願意豐富中華民國與台灣連結、兩岸連結的論述， 在台灣光復70周年的歷史性節日時，必須更盛大的進行紀念， 以更紮實的論述與更多元豐富的活動與慶典， 來彰顯台灣光復的歷史性意義，這才是真正捍衛中華民國， 更與台獨的「中華民國凍結論」、「中華民國空洞化」 論述進行明確區隔。