President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration should make a clear statement regarding its stance on the positioning of the nation and cross-strait relations, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said yesterday.
The party’s comments came after Kyodo News quoted Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso as saying on Monday that if China were to invade Taiwan, Japan and the US “would have to defend Taiwan.”
“It would not be too much to say that it could relate to a survival-threatening situation” for Japan, Aso was quoted as saying.
US National Security Council Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific Kurt Campbell on Tuesday said that while Washington supports a strong unofficial relationship with Taiwan, it does not support the nation’s independence.
In a statement yesterday about the two officials’ remarks, the KMT said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration should clearly state its position on positioning of the nation and cross-strait relations, and avoid intensifying tensions in the region.
The Tsai administration should oppose any intrusions by force and welcome any measures conducive to regional stability, while insisting that the sovereignty, and related rights and interests of the Republic of China (ROC) not be violated, the KMT said.
“The status quo in the Taiwan Strait is that the possibility of conflict is increasing rather than decreasing,” it said, adding that if a war were to take place in the Taiwan Strait, all parties would lose.
Tsai said she would maintain the “status quo,” but her policies have not helped to maintain the “status quo” of May 2016, when she first took office, the KMT said.
“One of the highest principles for guiding policy that the KMT adheres to is cross-strait peace and the avoidance of war in the Taiwan Strait,” the party said.
The KMT said the peace and avoidance of war that it advocates is not a policy of surrendering, but seeks to manage and resolve conflict by prioritizing Taiwanese and engaging in cross-strait negotiations on an equal footing.
The DPP should “return” to the ROC Constitution and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), as well as a political basis for cross-strait dialogue, “such as the 1992 consensus or a political basis for cross-strait dialogue consistent with its spirit,” the KMT said.
The “1992 consensus,” a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000, refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and the Chinese government that both sides of the Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
The DPP administration should not remove elements of the ROC from different areas, the KMT said, while also urging Beijing not to send military aircraft and vessels near Taiwan, nor to exclude Taiwan from international participation.
Separately, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) told a weekly online meeting of the KMT’s Central Standing Committee that Campbell’s comments sent “a clear message” to Taipei and Beijing.
Chiang urged Tsai “to make a clear statement” to prevent the nation from falling into what he described as a “confusion of identity.”
“Protecting the existing ROC system, returning to the existing foundation for cross-strait dialogue, maintaining the peace and stability of cross-strait relations as much as possible and striving for Taiwan’s maximum autonomy, is the most pragmatic and beneficial path for Taiwan at present,” he wrote on Facebook.
He also said that the government should “put the history of the ROC during the mainland period back into textbooks.”
In government documents and news releases, China should be referred to as “mainland China” to “show the most basic and direct respect for the ROC Constitution,” Chiang said.
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