Confederation formula best option, say KMT officials

The China Post

Kuomintang (KMT) officials said yesterday that Taiwan and mainland China should form a confederation before the two sides reunite with each other, and that the confederation formula would be the two sides’s best option. Su Chi, a key member of the KMT’s think tank National Policy Foundation, unveiled the new policy paper yesterday morning at a news conference, marking a definite shift in the leading opposition party’s policy on the relations between the two sides across the Taiwan Strait. Su said the KMT promoted equality between the two sides in both the new “confederation” system and in the previous “two-state theory,” but the two policies are very different in many other respects. The “two-state theory,” which describes the cross-strait relations as “special state-to-state relations,” was spelled out by former President Lee Teng-hui, then KMT chairman, in 1999 when he was in office. The “confederation” formula, however, was initiated by incumbent KMT chairman Lien Chan earlier this year. Su, former Chairman of the Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council, said the consensus on “One China” issues reached by the two sides in 1992 was scrapped in the “two-state theory,” which also ruled out the possibility of Taiwan’s reunification with the mainland. The 1992 consensus on “One China”, according to the newly unveiled policy paper, refers to the concept of “One China with separate interpretations,” meaning that the “One China” denotes neither the People’s Republic of China nor Taiwan, Republic of China. KMT lawmaker Ting Shou-chung, who has participated in the production of the new policy, told reporters that the proposed confederation system would be more innovative than the two-state theory. Ting said, according to the policy paper, that both Taiwan and the mainland should preserve the two sides’ central governments and constitutional laws for the time being. Stressing that the proposed confederation would not be the final solution of the cross-strait disputes, Su said the two sides’ officials should later make an effort to resolve the cross-strait differences and disputes, before the two sides could eventually reunite with each other. Both Taiwan and the mainland, according to the newly published policy paper, should treat each other as equals in the proposed confederation, while each side would still have the rights to its own diplomacy, national defense and internal affairs. In the proposed confederation, the two sides ought to establish a confidence building mechanism with all disputes to be resolved peacefully.

Su said neither an independent Taiwan nor Taiwan’s immediate reunification with the mainland is an option in the new policy paper. High-ranking KMT officials have put the proposed confederation into the KMT party platform, while the proposal will be put up for discussion next week at the party’s Central Standing Committee and then in its 16th national congress scheduled for July 29. The “confederation” formula will become the KMT’s official platform for the year-end legislative, mayoral and county magistrate elections, if it is approved by both the Central Standing Committee and the KMT national congress. Opposition New Party lawmaker Elmer Fung, who maintains perfect relations with the mainland Chinese government, yesterday criticized the definition of “confederation” provided in the KMT position paper for being too ambiguous.