Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tsai Ing-wen Eager to Talk to Beijing: But Why Not Talk to the Voters First?

Tsai Ing-wen Eager to Talk to Beijing:
But Why Not Talk to the Voters First?
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
June 22, 2011

During her recent trip to the Philippines, Tsai Ing-wen said that the DPP is willing to sit down with Beijing and discuss a "sustainable" framework for cross-Strait interaction. But the presidential election is only six months away. Why doesn't Tsai Ing-wen share her "sustainable" framework for cross-Strait interaction with her fellow citizens of the ROC? Or does Beijing rank higher in her political hierarchy than qualified voters of the ROC?

Tsai Ing-wen said she has been totally clear about her cross-Strait principles. She said some people have accused her of being deliberately ambiguous. She said her accusers are deliberately choosing not to understand.

Just what is Tsai Ing-wen's cross-Strait policy? She has voiced her opinion on a number of issues. One. She rejects the 1992 Consensus. Two. She is considering demanding a referendum on ECFA, or demanding that ECFA be sent back to the legislature for review. Third. She once said that "If the Democratic Progressive Party returns to power, it will continue the former administration's cross-Strait policy." Four. She proposes "Peace with differences. Peace while seeking common ground." Five. She has denied saying that the Macao model could replace the existing consultation mechanism. Six. She would replace a growth and export oriented economy with a "locally based economy."

Can these mutually contradictory statements really be considered "totally clear?" Can listeners really be accused of "deliberately choosing not to understand?" One. Tsai rejects the 1992 Consensus, purportedly because it "forfeits sovereignty and humiliates the nation." But where is her alternative? Two. Tsai insists that ECFA "panders to [Mainland] China and sells out Taiwan." But what does she plan to do about it? Does she intend to demand a referendum? Does she intend to send it back to the Legislative Yuan for review? Third, She says she intends to continue the previous administration's cross-Strait policy. if so, why not continue the previous administration's "One China, Different Interpretations" policy as well? Why not continue its policy of "no [immediate] reunification, no independence, no use of force?" If Tsai does not continue these policies, how can she continue the 15 agreements predicated upon these policies? Four. What exactly is "Peace with differences. Peace while seeking common ground?" What are the "differences?" What is "seeking common ground?" How exactly does she intend to go about "seeking common ground?" If she rejects the 1992 Consensus, can there be any peace to speak of? Five. She apparently realizes the Macao model is not feasible. Does she intend to preserve the existing consultation mechanism? Will Chen Yunlin be allowed to visit? When the time comes, will "President Tsai" once again climb onto a sound truck, to bait this visitor from the Mainland? Six. Does Tsai really believe that a "locally based economy" can do away with cross-Strait exchanges? If so, she should take a gander at the waves of Mainland tourists ascending to the top of the Taipei 101 Building and crowding the night markets.

Leave her ambiguous rhetoric aside for the moment. Tsai Ing-wen also says that "The ROC is a government in exile." But she has yet to explain herself. She remains totally unclear on whether she even recognizes the ROC. In which case, how can she possibly be clear on her cross-Strait policy? Also, what has become of Tsai Ing-wen's "Political Platform for the Coming Decade, Cross-Strait Edition" which she trumpeted for the past three years? It is not merely unclear. It has evaporated into thin air. Nothing more has been heard about it.

Tsai Ing-wen says she thinks the two sides need a "sustainable" mechanism for cross-Strait interaction. Is Tsai a rational and responsible presidential candidate? If so, then shouldn't she present her "sustainable" mechanism for cross-Strait interaction to the people? Only that would be consistent with the principles of "democracy, transparency, oversight" that Tsai purports to uphold. How can she seek to "sit down and talk" with the authorities in Beijing, when the general election is looming, and she continues to bob and weave and evade the issue?

Consider the cross-Strait views that Tsai Ing-wen have voiced lately. She has commented on the 1992 Consensus, on One China, Different Interpretations, on no [immeidate] reunification, no independence, no use of force, on ECFA and the 15 agreements, on direct flights and the influx of Mainland tourists, on the diplomatic truce, on ARATS and the SEF, and on the cross-Strait economic cooperation committee. To her, none of these are "sustainable" mechanisms for cross-Strait interaction. Even the Republic of China, in her eyes, is a "government in exile." It too, fails to qualify as a "sustainable" mechanism for cross-Strait interaction. What exactly does Tsai Ing-wen consider a "sustainable" cross-Strait solution? Before she talks to Beijing shouldn't she report to the people first?

Tsai Ing-wen is directing her rhetorical barrage at Beijing, She is attempting to force Beijing to respond to a "different sort of DPP." But Tsai Ing-wen has joined herself at the hip with Chen Shui-bian, Lee Teng-hui, Frank Hsieh, Koo Kwan-min and the Taiwan independence movement. Her campaign workers are either Chen supporters or Hsieh supporters. They are either Koo supporters or Taiwan independence activists. That being the case, how exactly is the DPP any different? Tsai Ing-wen stopped Chen Shui-bian from recognizing the 1992 Consensus in 2000. Even today she continues to reject it. How exactly is she any different?

Tsai Ing-wen remains unclear on cross-Strait policy. She is attempting to run for president on a deliberately ambiguous campaign platform. She may be trying to deceive Chen Shui-bian, Lee Teng-hui, Frank Hsieh, Koo Kwan-min and the Taiwan independence movement. She may be trying to deceive the authorities in Beijing. She is definitely trying to deceive ROC voters. Voters who support Tsai Ing-wen, especially advocates of Taiwan independence, are willing to support her merely so they can win the election and hustle her into the office of the president. Their strategy is to first win the election by deceiving the public. The details can be hashed out later. If that is the case, then Tsai Ing-wen's election bid is nothing more than a giant scam. If it is not exposed for what it is before the election, it will be exposed for what it is after she is elected.

Tsai Ing-wen says Beijing is willing to listen to the Democratic Progressive Party. But Beijing has already stated that "Cross-Strait exchanges are based entirely on the 1992 Consensus." Therefore, Tsai Ing-wen must first explain her "sustainable" cross-Strait policy to the voters. Today she disingenuously harangues Beijing with her rhetoric. What is she doing, but revealing her hidden insecurities?

【聯合報╱社論】 2011.06.22











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