China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
October 29, 2015
Executive Summary: KMT Chairman Eric Chu's presidential campaign is now having a coat tails effect. Sure enough, it is putting pressure on the DPP. For the past few days, Tsai Ing-wen has been blasting the KMT. She has been playing the "confrontation card" and the "intimidation card". She insists she has been waging a hard fought campaign. KMT President Ma Ying-jeou's cross-Strait policy is back on course. This forces Tsai Ing-wen to turn to diehard Taiwan independence elements for support. It helps the KMT stake out the "vital center". It forces Hung Shiu-chu supporters to turn to Eric Chu to ensure victory.
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KMT Chairman Eric Chu's presidential campaign is now having a coat tails effect. Sure enough, it is putting pressure on the DPP. For the past few days, Tsai Ing-wen has been blasting the KMT. She has been playing the "confrontation card" and the "intimidation card". She insists she has been waging a hard fought campaign. KMT President Ma Ying-jeou's cross-Strait policy is back on course. This forces Tsai Ing-wen to turn to diehard Taiwan independence elements for support. It helps the KMT stake out the "vital center". It forces Hung Shiu-chu supporters to turn to Eric Chu to ensure victory.
This KMT strategy is an open secret. Tsai Ing-wen may criticize the KMT. But she must first explain her own about face on cross-Strait relations. She must present her vision for the future. She must win public trust and voter support. She must persuade voters to accept her leadership for the next four years. Tsai Ing-wen, after all, was the author of the "two states theory". Now she suddenly wants to "maintain the status quo"? Tsai dismissed the Republic of China as a "government in exile". Now she is suddenly eager to defend the “ROC constitutional framework"? For seven long years she refused to attend National Day ceremonies. Tsai Ing-wen refuses to recognize the 1992 consensus. She refuses to disown the Taiwan independence party platform. Yet she suddenly identifies with the "Republic of China"? That is quite a leap! Especially when one compares it to her stance on national identity pre-Sunflower Student Movement. We are looking at two people here.
This is why so few people buy Tsai Ing-wen's Road to Damascus conversion, and maintain a wait and see attitude. Up to 70% of the public thinks Tsai Ing-wen will win the presidential election. Yet only 40% to 45% say they will vote for her. Their skepticism is well warranted. During Chen Shui-bian's 2000 presidential campaign and early presidency, he appeared rational and flexible. Tsai Ing-wen comes across the same way today. But once she consolidates her power, internal and external pressures will gradually lead to a loss of restraint.
In 2000 Taiwan underwent its first ruling party change. During his inauguration, Chen Shui-bian announced his "five noes" policy, which entailed no declaration of independence, no new name for the nation, no inclusion of the two-states theory into the constitution, no referendum to change the status quo vis a vis reunification vs. independence, and no repeal of the National Unification Guidelines or the National Unification Council. The "five noes" reassured all parties. Then Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou affirmed Chen's pledge and called it "sober". Ma said "The CCP will have trouble finding fault with it". Chen Shui-bian won the United States' trust. Even the Mainland agreed to a Cold Peace, during which it would "listen to what he said and look at what he did".
But the Cold Peace lasted only two years. In August 2002, Chen Shui-bian trotted out his "one nation on each side" policy. This left both the Mainland and the United States hopping mad. They felt Chen unilaterally reneged on the five noes. Tsai Ing-wen even had to rush to the US to extinguish fires. But "one nation on each side" was no off-key interlude. It gradually become Chen Shui-bian's main them during the remainder of his term. In 2003, Chen Shui-bian proposed that "Taiwan give birth to a new constitution in 2006". He continued to probe the limits of the "five noes". in 2006 the National Unification Council "ceased operations", directly repudiating Chen's pledge "no abolition of the National Unification Council and National Unification Guidelines".
Because Chen repudiated his pledges, cross-Strait relations went from Cold Peace to Cold War, and eventually to the brink of Hot War. The two sides found themselves in a state of tension. The United States, a long-term ally of Taiwan, lost all patience with Chen's repeated perfidy. Taipei-Washington relations reached the freezing point.
Tsai Ing-wen is attempting to turn perceptions around. But given Chen's precedent, there is little wonder suspicions run deep. Besides, Tsai Ing-wen was a cross-Strait policy hawk during the Chen administration. Consider the 1992 consensus. When Chen won in 2000, the DPP had two opportunities to recognize the 1992 consensus. The first was in June 2000. Chen Shui-bian met with foreign guests and expressed his willingness to accept "one China, different interpretations". But the very next day, Chen's subordinate Tsai Ing-wen shamed him into reversing himself. Lee Yuan-tse's endorsement helped Chen Shui-bian win the presidency. In October that year, Lee attended a "cross-party group" and presented his recommendations. He told Chen that in 1992, the two cross-Strait associations did in fact reach a consensus on "one China, different interpretations", Lee said that "This is a fact". But Tsai Ing-wen disagreed, vehemently. She said there is no such thing as the 1992 consensus, that it did not exist, and dismissed Lee Yuan-tse's observation as "merely his own opinion."
Tsai Ing-wen's hard line stand was a serious mistake. It prevented Chen Shui-bian from increasing cross-Strait trust. It even undermines Tsai Ing-wen today. Had the DPP accepted the 1992 consensus, Tsai Ing-wen would not be in her current dilemma. She would not be searching in vain for face-saving measures. Consequently, if Tsai Ing-wen wins the election, her top priority must be avoiding the cross-Strait policy mistakes of the Chen era. The power imbalance between the two sides is far greater today than it was in 2000 under Chen. The strategic picture in East Asia and around the world is far more complex today than it was in 2000 as well. Chen still held a number of "Cold War" chips back then. Today, Taiwan cannot even survive a Cold War. One can safely predict that Tsai Ing-wen will face challenges far more daunting than Chen Shui-bian's worst crises .
We have three hopes. Hope One. Tsai Ying-wen's recent "conversion" must be genuine, not phony. For the nation as a whole and for the sake of Taiwan, we hope Tsai Ing-wen's belated embrace of the Republic of China is sincere. We hope it is not mere show intended to deceive. If it is mere show, then even if she wins the election, she will fail in the end. Hope Two. Tsai Ing-wen's course correction is right, but still incomplete. She must face the issue squarely, and state her position clearly. Hope Three. She must follow up on Hope Two. In 2000, when she refused to recognize the 1992 consensus, she committed the same mistake twice. In 2016 she can correct that mistake. Without the 1992 consensus, there can be no status quo. Nearly everyone concerned with cross-strait relations knows this. In the face of public skepticism, shouldn't Tsai Ing-wen make her position crystal clear?
果然對民進黨選情產生壓力，蔡英文連日高調批評國民黨打「 對立牌」、「恐嚇牌」，說自己選得很辛苦。當然，我們不能否認， 國民黨兩岸政策重新回到馬英九穩健路線後， 正試圖把蔡英文推擠回「傾獨板塊」，搶占社會「主流立場」板塊， 然後逼迫洪秀柱路線支持者含淚投票，以創造勝選最大可能性。
也該說清楚自己對兩岸關係的轉變過程、未來願景， 才能取得民眾的信賴，心甘情願投下一票，接受她來領導台灣未來4 年的命運。畢竟蔡英文從「兩國論」起草人到「維持現狀」倡議人； 從指稱中華民國是「流亡政府」到宣稱接受「中華民國憲政體制」； 從7年不參加國慶大典到選前參加。現在的蔡英文除了「九二共識」 還堅持不接受、「台獨黨綱」還堅持不放棄外，在國家認同上， 已向「中華民國」公約數修正。這個轉變太過跳躍， 尤其與太陽花運動前後她的國家論述比對，更是判若二人。
抱持不信任與觀望態度的人仍然不少的緣故。 蔡英文總統大選的看好度高居7成，支持度卻始終在4成到4成5間 徘徊。社會的疑慮不是沒有道理，2000年陳水扁在競選期間及初 任總統時展現的理性與彈性，和今天的蔡英文極為相似， 但隨著權力的穩固與內政和外部壓力升高卻逐漸失控。
：不宣布獨立、不更改國號、不推動兩國論入憲、 不推動改變現狀的統獨公投， 以及沒有廢除國統綱領與國統會的問題。「四不一沒有」提出後， 各方都鬆了一口氣，當時擔任台北市長的馬英九，也以「演說平穩， 中共難挑毛病」加以肯定，陳水扁取得美國的信任，也獲得了大陸「 聽其言、觀其行」的冷和空間。
一邊一國」，讓大陸與美國跳腳，咸認為這是片面毀棄「 四不一沒有」，蔡英文還為此銜命去美國滅火。但「一邊一國」 不是走調的插曲，卻漸漸成為陳水扁剩餘任期的主旋律。2003年 陳水扁提出「2006年催生台灣新憲法」，繼續在「四不」 承諾上打擦邊球；2006年則將國統會「終止運作」，直接毀棄「 沒有廢除國統綱領與國統會的問題」的一沒有。
在陳水扁執政時，蔡英文一直在兩岸政策上扮演強硬的鷹派角色。 以九二共識的接受為例，2000年陳水扁剛勝選時， 民進黨曾二次有機會接受九二共識，一次是2000年6月陳水扁在 接見外賓時表示，他願意接受「一個中國，各自表述」，但第二天， 就被下屬蔡英文打臉否認；同年10月，以「向上提升」 名言把陳水扁推上總統大位的李遠哲不放棄，又在「跨黨派小組」 向陳水扁獻議，直指兩岸兩會在1992年確有「一中各表」共識， 「這是歷史事實」。李遠哲的提議，又再被蔡英文強勢否定， 重申九二共識不存在，並直指那是李遠哲的「個人意見」。
害了當時的陳水扁無法提升兩岸互信，也害了現在的蔡英文， 如果當時民進黨即能接受九二共識， 就不會有今天蔡英文在九二共識問題上苦尋不著台階可下的窘境。 也因此，蔡英文若能勝選，最重要的課題就是， 如何避免重蹈陳水扁執政時的兩岸覆轍？特別是，今天兩岸實力較2 000年陳水扁時更不均衡，東亞乃至全球的戰略情勢也較2000 年時更為複雜。陳水扁執政時的台灣，還握有一定的「冷和」籌碼， 現在的台灣則連維持冷和的能力恐怕都不具，可預見的， 執政的蔡英文將面對比陳水扁還更艱鉅的危機考驗。
虛假」的，為國家大局、為台灣利益計， 希望蔡英文擁抱中華民國是發乎真心的真改變， 因為若這是一場假戲，就算蔡英文可以贏得一時的選舉勝利， 也將註定以失敗的執政收場。第二，蔡英文目前的修正方向是「 正確」的，卻還不「到位」，必須更正面具體提出主張。 第三是第二的延伸，在2000年二度犯下否定九二共識的歷史錯誤 的蔡英文，2016年將是她修正這個歷史錯誤的契機。 沒有九二共識，就沒有現狀，這幾乎是所有關心兩岸者的共識。 面對社會疑慮，蔡英文難道不應該說清楚嗎？