Tsai Ming-hsien: Ker’s call for freeze on independence hews to China line

Tsai Ming-hsien: Ker’s call for freeze on independence hews to China line

Tsai Ming-hsien spoke out Saturday on DPP legislative caucus convener Ker Chien-ming’s suggestion that the party institute a "freeze” on its long-standing Taiwan independence platform, calling it highly inappropriate. Tsai said that making such a statement at a very critical time for Taiwan was too much in line with China's strategy and said he was very disappointed with Ker for making the suggestion.

Tsai noted that Taiwan is a sovereign and independent country, and warned that Beijing has long been working to establish a united front within Taiwan. He reminded everyone that Taiwan's future should be decided by the people of Taiwan and not determined by China, the US or the KMT. Tsai added that the controversy caused by Kef’s statement should give us all cause for reflection, and called for the people of Taiwan to “stand firm."

Tsai appeared Saturday along with Taiwan National Strategy Think Tank Chairman Wu Rong-yi, DPP Policy Committee Chief Joseph Wu, declared candidate for the DPP in the upcoming Taipei Mayor election Wellington Koo and Save Taiwan Association Director Lu Chung-ching at "Looking ahead: A Justice and Peace Conference for 2014," sponsored by the Taiwan United Nations Association and the Presbyterian Church.

Wu Rong-I echoed Tsai’s remarks, saying that the Taiwan independence platform is one of the fundamental values of the Democratic Progressive Party. He explained that the platform is closely held by the vast majority of the party’s supporters and cannot be easily changed. He added that he was not sure why Ker chose to bring up this issue at this time, but said that it does not represent the thinking of the DPP. In addition, he said, anyone who wants to institute such changes must follow certain procedures established by the party.

Wu stressed that China has a very strong view of the Taiwan independence platform, which is a basic position that was adopted by the DPP many years ago. Wu said that no matter how Beijing approaches Taiwan in its talks and exchanges, the DPP must still stick to its stance on Taiwan independence.

Joseph Wu added that Ker’s suggestion came in an enlarged meeting and should be considered a "personal opinion" and nothing more. He noted that the statement caught many people by surprise and pointed out that Taiwan is indeed a sovereign and independent country which holds its own presidential and parliamentary elections, has a standing military and collects its own taxes, all of which are solid indicators of political sovereignty.

DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang said in a recent interview that at each stage of the history of the DPP, the party has based its thinking firmly on the concept of the sovereignty of the island and its people. As expressed in the party’s "Resolution on Taiwan's Future," Taiwan is a confirmed independent sovereign state that is not affiliated with the People's Republic of China, and any future changes in that status should be left up to the 23 million people of Taiwan to decide in a referendum. This position is the consensus of the vast majority of the party, he said, and the DPP must adhere closely to this stance.

Asked about the comment from China's Taiwan Affairs Office that Ker Chien-ming was offering new "insight" into the pro-independence rhetoric, Su Tseng-chang countered that the party’s China Policy Expanded Meeting is a forum where people are free to express a variety of opinions. Su noted that this is a part of the free and open democracy that exists in Taiwan. Here, he said, you will hear a wide range of opinions thrown out in the process of discussions to reach a consensus. This is Taiwan's greatest asset and China's greatest deficiency, and China would do well to emulate Taiwan in this process.

Updated : 2021-04-18 14:46 GMT+08:00