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Jul 14, 2008

KMT Vice chair: We want unification badly

The Liberty Times lead story today is about transparent if unofficial behaviour between the KMT and CCP. This news was also printed in the very China-friendly Wenwei paper (文匯報) in Hong Kong.

There are two significant snippets that stand out in the article. First is Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Kuan Chung (關中)'s comments at the fourth annual Focus on Taiwan (台湾周) event in Wuhan, Hubei, China. Speaking there , Guan Chung said the KMT "wholeheartedly wishes" to secure long term governance of the island and bring about peaceful annexation by unification with China. Update: Kuan Kong denies saying anything about long term KMT rule leading to unification. Or specifically, he says "Those were not my words."

The second eye-catcher is former deputy secretary-general of the Presidential Office Cheyne Chiu (邱進益) discussing details of a peace agreement at the 2008 Cross-strait Symposium in Hangzhou (兩岸研討會). Chiu indicated that if the mainland renounces the use of force, Taiwan would "not engage in any further separatist activity," end military exercises aimed at practicing for invasion from China, and work with China to prevent "third countries" (Japan or the US) from interfering in Chinese territory.

The presidential office said both Kuan Chung and Cheyne Chiu are in China in private capacities, do not represent either the government or the party, and offered no further comment on the meat of the statements, offering only that Ma's "no unification, no independence, no force" policy (「不統、不獨、不武」) is unchanged.

Responding to Cheyne Chiu's comments, Professor Xu Bodong (徐博東) of Bejiing's Lienhe University said a peace accord was premature and that "moving too fast would make the goal unreachable."

In his speech, Kuan Chung further said that the KMT must spend the next four years working hard to reverse the trends toward independence and "de-Sinification" (a KMT word if there ever was one), but that the KMT will need China's help (friendliness) to accomplish this goal.


This is the kind of thing that has drawn serious ire from the DPP and again raises questions about behind the scene negotiations between the KMT and CPP. What constitutes discussion and negotiation, and what is appropriate?

How transparent are all of these exchanges? (answer: not very.) How much will be taken care of before hand before the public negotiations proceed? (answer: probably a lot).

How will these back-door exchanges effect the public's ability to voice their opinions before official agreements are signed? If a peace accord puts specific limitations on Taiwan's options, how will the KMT ensure they are enforced even in the event of a future KMT loss: would a constitutional amendment be an option?

Damn it.


Feiren said...

This story had Liberty Times hatchet job written all over it. I wouldn't be surprised if he did say some version of these things, but how did the Liberty Times cover this story? Did they have a reporter there? If not, do they have enough sources to back their story up?

阿牛 said...

Liberty times was basically just reprinting the 文匯報 article that I linked to in para one. They're not super reliable, but they hardly printed it as a hatchet job, so it's hard to decide what credibility to lend it.

Tang Buxi said...

In the country that you're from, does the government usually conduct sensitive negotiations with other governments "in public"?

Taiwan is a republic, not a democracy.

阿牛 said...

We're not talking about a deal meant to defuse a nuclear crisis or something of that nature; we're deciding the very fate of a nation. That's the kind of thing that requires some public debate about what's actually being negotiated. And even when the government tries to do these things in secrets, we normally get some reliable leaks.

Republic/democracy distinction ... worthwhile in some contexts but nitpicking in this case, I think.

Tang Buxi said...

In a republic, citizens will only be directly involved in issue debates during campaign season.

If Ma actually wants to sign an agreement, I assume the legislative yuan will hold numerous hearings so that they can be properly informed. If that isn't being done, then I can understand the reason for hand-wringing.

If the suggestion that KMT members, traveling in their private capacity, talking to mainland officials is some how a violation of the public trust... that doesn't sound remotely reasonable to my ears.

How many "secret ambassadors" did Chen Shuibian and Li Tenghui allegedly send to communicate with Beijing, again?