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Feb 17, 2010

Chinese President Hu Jintao's pre-Lunar New Year address to Taiwanese businessmen in China was mostly boilerplate material; no surprises in the speech. However, when reading the speech I was struck by one particular phrase:

...把堅持大陸和台灣同屬一個中國作為推動兩岸關係和平發展的政治基礎... make "insistence that Taiwan and the Mainland are both part of One China" the political foundation for promoting peaceful cross strait development...
Now of course this is nothing new, but what struck me is that for all the KMT's promotion of a constitutional or legal "One China," I don't believe any KMT official has actually used the term "Taiwan and the Mainland are both part of One China." Naturally, the KMT does accept that position (with a different wording preference), or there would be no basis for negotiations at this time.

In fact, I appear to be right about KMT non-use of the phrase. A quick search of the KMT website and other news articles shows that the phrase "同屬一個中國" makes appearances, but always in reference to the "mainland" Chinese position. In fact, President Ma prefers emphasizing that Taiwan and Chinese people "are both part of the Zhonghua Minzu," but does not overtly say they belong to the same "One China."

Here is another example where the DPP rhetoric would be more effective at driving home the KMT's one China policy. If the DPP made sure to mention all the time that "The KMT accepts Taiwan and China are the same country," I think it would strike a bit more of a chord than talking about the ROC legitimacy or theoretical, upcoming "sell outs."

And it would leave the KMT in a rhetorical pickle, as they cannot deny that position but equally, cannot promote it domestically. If you frame the language of the debate in the CCP terms, the KMT can only lose ground.

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