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DPP must respond to KMT-CCP scheme

DPP must respond to KMT-CCP scheme

In the midst of the last phase of the selection by Taiwan's governing Democratic Progressive Party and the opposition Kuomintang of their presidential candidates, the People's Republic of China's ruling Chinese Communist Party and the KMT, once bitter foes, held their third "economic and cultural forum" in Beijing last weekend, highlighted by the third meeting between PRC State Chairman Hu Jintao and KMT honorary Chairmam Lien Chan.
If we discount the several "liberalizing" measures arbitrarily announced by Beijing on Sunday, the main content of this session was rhetorical appeals, suggestions and hopes aimed at the Taiwan authorities.
In line with its insistence on retaining its "Chinese" moniker, the KMT has adopted a stance similar to its dictatorial "younger brother" CCP in putting pressure on the Taiwan authorities, namely the Democratic Progressive Party government, under the common banner of "opposing Taiwan independence."
Although the forum is ostensibly intended to take concrete and pragmatic actions to improve cross-strait relations, the decision by the Beijing authorities to deliberately ignore repeated offers by the DPP government to set up official or authorized channels for bilateral consultation or negotiation and announce "liberalizations" in these forums with Taiwan's former rulers has actually impeded efforts to build a mutually acceptable framework for normalized bilateral ties.
But achieving genuinely "mutually beneficial" or "win-win" progress is actually not the true agenda of either the CCP or the KMT. In the mentality of the PRC regime's ruling party, the arbitrary announcement of more liberalization moves are doses of "good will," but as far as the governing DPP is concerned, such actions comprise only an intensification of domestic political pressure.
In the mentality of the KMT, the more pressure on the DPP and the more political checks issued by the KMT that the DPP government is unable to cash, the more disappointed voters will flock to the KMT and the greater the chances will be for the KMT to win back Taiwan.
However, contrary to the expectations of Lien, the KMT and the CCP, public opinion has turned against the KMT's transparent efforts to sell out Taiwan's interests, and the DPP government has actually turned more resolutely toward promoting the "normalization" of an independent Taiwan.
Instead, the KMT-CCP forums have become a platform for the self-exposure of the genuine nature and intentions of the KMT.
For example, the tacit cooperation between the KMT and CCP on an agenda of opposing Taiwanese independence has sacrificed the KMT's own declared precondition for unification, namely China's democratization.
Heedless to all the arrests
Ironically, at the same time as the "Chinese Pan-Blue Alliance" in China itself was being suppressed by the PRC public security agencies, Lien was traveling all over China, heedless to the arrests and cries of Chinese citizens who expressed allegiance to his party's ostensive ideals.
After losing two successive presidential elections in March 2000 and March 2004, the KMT has taken a 180 degree turn and has disavowed in action and words the rigid anti-communism of the late Chiang Kai-shek and dumped the "Taiwanization" program launched by former Taiwan-born president and ex-KMT chairman Lee Teng-hui and previously publically embraced by Lien and former KMT chairman and now presidential nominee Ma Ying-jeou.
Instead, the KMT has turned to completely depend on the PRC and has used the mirage of tariff-free access to the Chinese market to deceive farmers in southern Taiwan and has repeatedly issued propaganda in Taiwan similar to the tunes played by the Beijing regime, as most recently shown in the flap over the Olympic torch relay.
As shown in recent talks by Ma, the KMT does not offer a policy vision of "Taiwan-centered" economic development, but has locked all of Taiwan's growth on turning our island state into a bridge to China.
The KMT also no longer dwells on the question of threats posed by the PRC's deployment of missiles and other offensive forces to Taiwan national security, but depends for all guarantees of Taiwan's security on the good will of the PRC regime. In fact, the "benefits" or "perks" trotted out by the Beijing regime in this forum and its two predecessors are little more than political traps. One example is the PRC's offer to recognize the licenses of Taiwan professionals. This is an issue which the Taiwan government has already been involved in numerous multilateral and bilateral negotiations in the World Trade Organization with WTO members.
Instead of discussing this issue under the WTO umbrella, the offer by the PRC authorities to "liberalize" 15 categories of certification examination for Taiwan professionals would actually be extremely unfair to our professionals should our government be so stupid as to agree.
To take one example, attaining certification as a doctor of Chinese traditional medicine is very difficult in Taiwan, but is quite easy in the PRC under its lax medical regulatory system. If PRC traditional Chinese medicine practitioners were allowed to use their PRC licenses to practice medicine in Taiwan, the results would not only be to undermine the livelihood of traditional medicine doctors in Taiwan but also pose a threat to our higher public health standards.
Similarly, the "tariff free" liberalization of Taiwan fruit exports to China promised by the first of these KMT-CCP forums only sparked only a "boom" for PRC-made counterfeits of "Chih-shang rice," "Puli liquor," "Wenshan green tea" and innumerable other goods and brought only great harm and little benefit to Taiwan farmers.
In the face of the pressure of these false promises of "liberalization," propaganda campaigns by KMT politicians and "free market" economists that any attempts at "active regulation" to protect Taiwan's industry and society are useless, we can only wonder whether Taiwan has any overall economic strategy to counter the common pressure exerted by the KMT and CCP to spur the "westward march" of Taiwan human resources to China in the wake of the past migration of our manufacturing and services.
The question of formulating a "Taiwan-centric" economic and social development path is the most important issue that the four candidates for the DPP's presidential nomination should address this evening in the third and last debate in Kaohsiung City.