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The Government's Position Paper on Ma Ying-jeou's Stance about "Taiwan's Pledge of Not Seeking Independence in Exchange for China's Commitment of Not Using Force against Taiwan"

  • Date:2006-11-03

Mainland Affairs Council, Executive Yuan November 3, 2006 The Republic of China is an independent sovereign country. The status quo in the Taiwan Strait is that both sides across the Strait have no jurisdiction over each other. There is no such issue of “independence” or “unification” between them. However, it is an undeniable fact that Beijing continues to reinforce its military preparations against Taiwan and has not renounced its basic policy of using force to pressure Taiwan into accepting China’s reunification proposal. At a time of increasing international condemnation over China’s military buildup, Taiwan’s main opposition party, the Chinese Nationalist Party(KMT), is advocating the position that, “Taiwan should make a pledge of not seeking independence in exchange for China’s commitment of not using force against Taiwan.” This stance links two circumstances that have no direct relation. It represents a regressive interpretation of the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. It also entirely ignores the rights and interests of the 23 million Taiwanese people and the right of the people to determine the future of Taiwan. As early as in 2004, Taiwan proposed that both sides engage in negotiations on setting up a dynamic framework of interaction for peace and stability, including the establishment of cross-strait confidence building measures. However, China has never made an active goodwill response. Instead, it has continued to increase its missile deployment against Taiwan at the pace of 100 missiles per year. The KMT’s linking of the basic point that, “Taiwan should make a pledge of not seeking independence in exchange for China’s commitment of not using force,” with a proposal to sign a cross-strait peace agreement is tantamount to creating a false impression of peace on the premise of unification. It would openhandedly present to China the sovereign status painstakingly established by the Republic of China and the democratic system that Taiwan has built up by long and hard effort. It would absolutely be a “surrender agreement” and “agreement to be downgraded.” Over the past year the KMT and the Communist Party of China (CPC) have had frequent interactions and unhindered communication. Yet why has the KMT not demanded that China stop its military buildup against Taiwan? Why have, on the contrary, KMT-CPC interactions only resulted in the effect of increasing China's sense that it can downgrade Taiwan’s status without fear due to the support from opposition political parties in Taiwan? The opposition party’s disregard for safeguarding the national sovereignty and repeated willingness to yield to China can only escalate antagonism in Taiwan and send confused signals to the international community. It also puts Taiwan at a disadvantage in cross-strait interactions and exchanges. In February 2006, the KMT published an advertisement stating the position that, “The future of Taiwan—be it unification, independence or maintaining the status quo—must be decided by the people of Taiwan.” Since then the KMT has not only repeatedly changed its political position, but has also oscillated between conflicting opinions, illustrating a complete lack of respect for the spirit of democracy, a disregard for the people’s right to choose, and a failure to consider Taiwan’s identity. If our national sovereignty and democratic system are treated as bargaining chips in negotiations with China, the day will come when Taiwan becomes another Hong Kong and Macao. The most important key to cross-strait relations in the current stage lies in the fact that China should face up to the fact of the existence of the Republic of China and to renounce its military threat and diplomatic suppression against Taiwan. Both sides should, without setting any political preconditions and based on the principles of “sovereignty, democracy, peace and parity,” promptly conduct dialogue and negotiations to jointly consider how to promote the normal and positive development of cross-strait relations. The Republic of China is an independent sovereign country; Taiwan’s sovereignty rests with the Taiwanese people; and the right to decide on any changes to the future of Taiwan resides solely with the 23 million Taiwanese people and not with another country or a political party. The KMT leaders should prudently consider the long-term future of the nation.