The China Post staff
Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan yesterday criticized the new government’s handling of cross-strait ties, saying its “short-sighted, wavering and inconsistent” mainland policy is doomed and steering the nation towards disaster.
The former vice president, in a rare harsh tone, said that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government’s lack of vision has deepened worry and anxiety both at home and abroad about the outlook for both sides of Taiwan Strait. “Since May 20, the DPP government has intentionally kept a low-profile stance and an ambiguous approach toward relations with Beijing,” noted Lien.
“However, the new government has appeared inconsistent and wavering because its mainland policy lacks vision and long-term planning,” he said.
Lien made the remarks at a forum yesterday in Taipei on cross-strait relations.
Lien said Taiwan should put its historical burdens behind it and become more tolerant when tackling conflicts people face when it comes to their identification with the nation.
“National interest derives from national identity. We have to know who we are before we can know what our interests are,” said Lien, quoted political scientist Samuel P. Huntington.
Lien added that national and social interests are bound to be hurt when people are forced by politicians to take sides between “Chinese” and “Taiwanese.” “Only a confident Taiwan will have the ability to deal with the intricate cross-strait relationship and to create new grounds for the relationship to move forward, eventually leading to a ‘win-win’ situation,” said Lien.
Lien also emphasized that both sides should go back to the “1992 consensus” to seek a chance to improve the cross-strait relationship. Also, the KMT maintains that the new government must acknowledge the National Unification Council’s institutional functions or there is no hope of the relationship improving, Lien added.
It is impossible for the special task force endorsed by the DPP government to achieve a cross-partisan consensus on cross-strait policy because it lacks support from the opposition parties, Lien said.
“The DPP, obsessed with its victory in the election and gaining power, lacks a strategic direction in leading the nation, and is in danger of isolating the nation,” Lien said.
The Beijing government is no better, he said.
“The Communist China is desperate to reunify the country and is single-mindedly pursuing interests of the regime while the stressing the importance of fostering a sense of cultural belonging for people on both sides. This is also dangerous in the sense that it is dragging the Chinese people further and further away from global civilization,” Lien, a political scientist, noted.
Lien added that there are blind spots on both sides with regard to their handling of the relationship. “That’s why we are emphasizing the importance of putting aside the problems that we are unable to solve for the moment, so as to cultivate a friendly atmosphere between both sides.”
Responding to Lien’s criticism, President Chen Shui-bian said he hopes that the task force will be given a chance.