Consensus cannot focus on one-China issue: Su
The China Post news staffFormer Premier Su Tseng-chang of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday reiterated that the “Taiwan Consensus” firmly based on the two major principles of “Existence is the top priority and democracy is the cornerstone” can best represent the mainstream public opinion in Taiwan.
February 18, 2011, 11:34 pm TWN
Su made the remarks in response to doubts cast by another former premier Frank Hsieh of the DPP that the “Taiwan consensus” advocated by Su can hardly address the issue of the separate interpretation of “one China” by both sides of the Taiwan Straits. Hsieh himself has recently raised the “Constitution Consensus,” allowing Taiwan and mainland China to interpret one China in accordance with their Constitutions which should be somewhere overlapped.
Su stressed that what counts most is a common consensus instead of creating something new in order to be different or being caught on the “one-China” framework.
Accordingly it's not necessary to make comparisons on different assertions to determine whose propositions are more special or advanced than others'.
“Any advocate lack of public consensus is nothing but empty talk,” Su continued.
In fact, Su added, the key spirit of the “Taiwan Consensus” he has advocated lies in the DPP's 1999 Resolution on Taiwan's Future, which outlines the party's vision for Taiwan's status and future goals.
Under the resolution, the DPP asserts that following the 1992 general elections of the national legislature, the 1996 direct presidential elections, and constitutional reform to abolish the provincial government, Taiwan has become a democratic and independent country, and any change in the independent status quo must be decided by all the residents of Taiwan by means of plebiscite.
Accordingly, Su said that Taiwan should stick to the democracy domestically and internationally, and therefore the future of Taiwan should be decided by all the 23 million nationals. He added the assertion is the same as proclaimed by President Ma Ying-jeou on Jan. 1 that Taiwan's future should be determined by all the nationals in Taiwan.
Su went on to say that it's an inevitable trend for Taiwan to engage in various exchanges with China, now the world's second-largest economy, but exchanges should be carried out vividly based on two major principles. One is that any Taiwanese products can be sold, but Taiwan's sovereignty cannot be sold. Another principle is that cross-strait businesses that will only benefit a few people and harm the majority can't be done.
It's believed that Su raised the “Taiwan Consensus” assertion mainly as a warm-up for his joining the competition for DPP candidacy for the 2012 presidential race.
For her part, Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of the DPP, will set up a think tank next Wednesday to study the party's policies on how to deal with mainland China in various aspects. Both Su and Tsai are deemed the most powerful DPP members to vie for the party's candidacy for the presidential election in 2012.
Also yesterday, DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-chan said that all the assertions raised by elites of the party to promote Taiwanese solidarity and stabilize cross-strait ties should be affirmed, and discussions or opinion exchanges are needed to counter different opinions among party members.