The restored right-wing Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) government of President Ma Ying-jeou responded to the demands raised by a half-million Taiwan citizens to fulfill its responsibility and "safeguard Taiwan" or "step down" with characteristic arrogance and blindness.
During the huge rally, opposition Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen raised three pertinent questions, namely whether Ma, his KMT government or the KMT party had entered into a secret agreement with the PRC that had turned Taiwan's sovereignty into a "commodity for trade."
Tsai correctly declared that Taiwan "is a democratic society and no one has the right to make such a decision in the place of the 23 million Taiwan people" and pointed out that "any change in our sovereignty status must be approved by national citizen referendum," as mandated by constitutional referendums approved with the support of both the DPP and the KMT in June 2005.
Besides ignoring Tsai's pointed question about whether the KMT government or party has entered into a secret agreement with the PRC and rejecting the possibility of a "debate" on the sovereignty question, Presidential spokesman Wang Yu-chi stated yesterday that "cross-strait policy was a major focus of the debates in the presidential election campaign" and claimed that "the people made a clear decision on the cross-strait problem on voting day March 22."
Unfortunately, the presidential spokesman, and possibly Ma himself, suffer from confusion as to what the majority of voters actually decided when they elected Ma as the "president" of the "Republic of China."
It is essential to note that an electoral mandate does not give a president of a democratic state a blank check to do whatever he and his party desire but merely authorizes them to implement their campaign commitments within the bounds of the government's powers in the Constitution and its explicit and implicit principles.
The most fundamental of these principles concerns the nature of sovereignty and the mandate of the people, which is contained in Article Two of the "Constitution of the Republic of China (Taiwan)" which mandates that "the sovereignty of the ROC shall reside in the whole body of citizens."
Article Three defines "citizens" as defined by their holding of ROC citizenship, which now mean the 23 million people who live in Taiwan and its associated territories and who, upon reaching the age of 20, have the right to vote in elections to choose the entire ROC government, including the president.
Through this political contract, Ma is responsible only to Taiwan's 23 million people and not the 1.3 billion people who live in the People's Republic of China or Mongolia, despite Ma's retrograde fantasy that the "territorial sovereignty" of the ROC includes the PRC and Mongolia.
Usurpers have no legitimacy
What is decisive in the ROC Constitution and the regular democratic elections implemented under its framework is the sovereignty of a political community of 23 million people, not a territorial myth. If the political community formed by the 23 million people on Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu do not constitute a democratic independent state, just who elected Ma "president" and of what? The majority of Taiwan voters did make a "clear choice"' to authorize Ma and a KMT government, in cooperation with the national legislature, to implement his "633" economic program for six percent growth, to improve cross-strait relations with the PRC and provide "clean and competent governance" and to fulfill his own public vow to respect the principle that "Taiwan's future must be decided by the Taiwan people alone."
However, Ma, the KMT government and party or the Legislative Yuan did not thereby receive authorization to unilaterally change the nature of Taiwan's sovereignty or the boundaries of the "actually existing" ROC constitutional order or body politic in the course of implementing these policies without receiving explicit consent from the people.
Indeed, there is "reasonable suspicion" that Ma and his government have wilfully transgressed the bounds of their mandate by concessions or even negations of Taiwan's sovereignty through unilateral actions such as agreeing to Beijing's "one China principle" contained in the so-called and mythical "Consensus of 1992," and agreeing to consider Taiwan merely an "area" and not a "state."
Moreover, the KMT government's rash agreement to open up all of Taiwan's airports, including six domestic airports, for direct cross-strait passenger flights and the proposed agreement to "straighten" such routes will restrict passage through the Shanghai and Taipei flight intelligence regions and thus will buttress Beijing's claim to international society that cross-strait routes are indeed "domestic" within the PRC and thus inflict irreparable harm on our sovereignty.
It is not an "empty issue" for Ma to realize that such actions that unilaterally "redefine" the boundaries of the political community or "state" that elected him "president" threaten to deprive him and his government of the legitimacy granted by the March 22 exercise of people's sovereignty by the 23 million Taiwan people and could turn him into an usurper with no more legitimacy to govern Taiwan than had the former KMT martial law regime.