China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
May 17, 2016
Executive Summary: For Taiwan, cross-Strait policy is not just another policy. It is the foundation on which the Republic of China rests. It is no exaggeration to call it a matter of life and death. Fail to deal with it wisely, and the ROC's foreign affairs, defense, and economy will all be in jeopardy. How can one afford to be careless? We hope Tsai Ing-wen will promote respect for the Constitution of the Republic of China, as the foundation for cross-Strait relations. We hope the DPP will improve cross-Strait relations and lay a solid foundation for cross-Strait peace. Returning to the constitution is the right path. Forsake your separatist ideas. This is our final reminder to the Tsai Ing-wen government.
Full Text Below:
For Taiwan, cross-Strait policy is not just another policy. It is the foundation on which the Republic of China rests. It is no exaggeration to call it a matter of life and death. Fail to deal with it wisely, and the ROC's foreign affairs, defense, and economy will all be in jeopardy. How can one afford to be careless?
The DPP has long assumed it can rely on the United States to defend it against Mainland China. Leave aside for the moment the new balance of power between Mainland China and the US. Both Beijing and Washington are concerned about security in the Taiwan Strait. The US recently reiterated that it "does not support Taiwan independence". US support for Taiwan has limits. Xi Jinping considers the "1992 Consensus" the determining factor in whether “the earth will move, and the mountains will shake”. Tsai Ing-wen however persists in rejecting the 1992 Consensus. The earth will not necessarily move and the mountains will not necessarily shake after May 20. But cross-Strait relations are likely to remain in a state of danger and uncertainty indefinitely. May 20 will be an important day. At this critical juncture, for the love of Taiwan, we offer the Tsai government a few last minute reminders.
Beijing is not forcing the DPP to accept the term "1992 Consensus" per se. But the DPP must offer an alternative formulation, one that affirms that both sides of the Taiwan Strait are part of one China, and that expresses opposition to Taiwan independence. Therefore Tsai's talk of “maintaining the status quo", of acknowledging the "spirt of 1992" and the "fact of 1992", of abiding by the "Republic of China's existing constitutional framework", are all unacceptable to Beijing. The Tsai Government has only two choices. One. Cling obstinately to its current position, and expect Beijng to launch a battle of willpower and strength on May 20. Two. Seek an alternative and confront cross-Strait relations in a responsible manner.
The DPP refuses to accept the 1992 Consensus because the DPP refuses to recognize the ROC Constitution. National constitutions are generally divided into three parts. Part one expresses the founding spirit. Part two declares sovereignty. Part Three stipulates the nation's jurisdiction. The ROC Constitution was published in 1947. Several changes were made during the Lee and Chen eras, pertaining to jurisdiction. But the constitution remains rooted in Sun Yat-sen's Three Peoples Principles. The territory remains the same, and its sovereignty belongs to all citizens. None of that has changed. In other words, the ROC Constitution represents the whole of China.
In a democratic nation, adherence to the constitution is taken for granted. But on Taiwan, the spirit and principles of the constitution are often destroyed. Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian publicly rejected the founding spirit of the Three Peoples Principles. They publicly advocated "special state to state relations" and "one country on each side". They publicly proclaimed their intention to divide the nation. These men currently receive Republic of China pensions. They wallow in their status as former Republic of China heads of state. They exercised Republic of China governmental authority. Yet they refuse to recognize the legitimacy of their own national government. This is not merely unheared of in history, its is a political and moral outrage, and has left Taiwan in a moral vacuum.
Practically speaking, the DPP has never come to terms with the Republic of China. Biologically speaking, the DPP's “Republic of China” is a parasite living off the real Republic of China. Since the real Republic of China was founded, it conducted the Northern Expedition, fought a war of resistance against Japan, rebuilt Taiwan, ensured Taiwan's security, worked Taiwan's economic miracle, and embarked on the road to democracy. These achievements, in the eyes of Taiwan independence parasites, are nothing more nutrients provided by a host, rather than soil in which a plant may flower. These parasites choose to grovel before Japan whiled spewing venom at Mainland China. Put simply, for these parasites, the Republic of China is nothing more than a host.
This is not the first time the Democratic Progressive Party has been the ruling party. But it is the first time it has enjoyed “total government” status. If the DPP continues to view the ROC as nothing more than a host to a parasite, both will perish. The DPP must see itself as part of the Republic of China. It must switch from parasitism to symbiosis. Only then can both prosper.
If the DPP is able to see this, then cross-Strait relations will no longer be an effort to fill in the sea. It will be as simple as a wave of the hand. The heart of the 1992 Consensus is "refrain from dividing China's sovereignty and territory". This is also stipulated in the ROC Constitution. The DPP need not mention the 1992 Consensus. But it must meet Beijing's demands regarding its meaning. Tsai Ing-wen's only way out is a public declaration that over the next four years, she will faithfully uphold the Constitution of the Republic of China, and promote cultural, educational and cross-Strait relations on that basis.
According to the ROC Constitution, the Democratic Progressive Party, which now enjoys “total government”, must forsake Taiwan independence. The DPP must understand that once it is in power, it no longer enjoys unrestricted freedom of speech, only administrative responsibility. The DPP government must abandon its practice of de-Sinicization. It must solemnly promise the public that it will no longer behave like a parasite. The DPP must forsake its "I Hate China" rhetoric, and enable the two sides to relate in a peaceful and friendly atmosphere.
Maintaining peaceful cross-Strait relations is not difficult. The two sides merely need to acknowledge that they are both part of the whole of China. The benefits of sovereignty will be shared by people on both sides of the Strait. The two governments have a duty to refrain from dividing China's sovereignty and territoriality. On such a basis, the two sides can exercise their jurisdictions in accordance with their respective constitutions. They can respect each other, and refrain from intervention.
We hope Tsai Ing-wen will promote respect for the Constitution of the Republic of China, as the foundation for cross-Strait relations. We hope the DPP will improve cross-Strait relations and lay a solid foundation for cross-Strait peace. Returning to the constitution is the right path. Forsake your separatist ideas. This is our final reminder to the Tsai Ing-wen government.