China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
February 26, 2016
Executive Summary: DPP Legislator Kao Chi-peng's call to purge portraits of Sun Yat-sen from government buildings has provoked a KMT backlash and rallied public opposition. Even the Mainland had harsh words to offer. "What is the agenda? Everyone knows perfectly well.” In response to the controversy, Tsai Ing-wen first tried to go through the motions. She invoked "transitional justice", and spoke of "confronting historical truths". She knows full well that such an action would undermine cross-Strait relations. She is urging the DPP to think more strategically, and calling for a broader discussion of the issue. She appears to applying the brakes on the Sun Yat-sen portrait issue.
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DPP Legislator Kao Chi-peng's call to purge portraits of Sun Yat-sen from government buildings has provoked a KMT backlash and rallied public opposition. Even the Mainland had harsh words to offer. "What is the agenda? Everyone knows perfectly well.” In response to the controversy, Tsai Ing-wen first tried to go through the motions. She invoked "transitional justice", and spoke of "confronting historical truths". She knows full well that such an action would undermine cross-Strait relations. She is urging the DPP to think more strategically, and calling for a broader discussion of the issue. She appears to applying the brakes on the Sun Yat-sen portrait issue.
As this incident shows, cross-Strait relations present numerous difficulties for Tsai Ing-wen. Tsai has inherited Ma Ying-jeou's cross-Strait problems. She is now caught in the middle. But her plight is more difficult than Ma Ying-jeou's, for three reasons. Difficulty One. Ma Ying-jeou advocated cross-Strait reconcilation. Opposition to him originated mainly with opponents, not supporters. Tsai Ing-wen's situation is different. She is clearly seeking reconciliation upon taking office. Therefore opposition will come from supporters within her own camp. Opposition will not be limited to DPP supporters, but will also come from deep green NPP elements.
Difficulty Two. Ma Ying-jeou's cross-Strait stance was largely consistent, from beginning to end. He did not flip-flop endlessly. Tsai Ing-wen, on the other hand, will be making a complete about face upon taking office. She cannot avoid questions about her integrity.
Difficulty Three. Tsai Ing-wen will be making a complete about face. People within her administration may have trouble keeping up. Hence the Sun Yat-sen portrait firestorm. We would like to think that Tsai Ing-wen was not so foolish as to instruct Kao Chi-peng to release a trial balloon. Presumably the DPP acted on its own. To the Mainland, the discrepancy between Tsai Ing-wen before and after is simply too great. This undermines Mainland confidence in her. They see her saying one thing while doing another. They see her talking through both sides of her mouth.
This means that all three camps, green, blue, and red, should help Tsai Ing-wen overcome these three difficulties. Helping her is not for the sake of Tsai Ing-wen personally, but for Taiwan's future, and long-term cross-Strait peace.
First take the green camp. DPP legislators need to appreciate Tsai Ing-wen's cross-Strait dilemma. They must not make more trouble for her. The Sun Yat-sen portait issue is a farce. It makes Tsai Ing-wen's plight even more awkward. It makes it harder for her to deal with cross-Strait relations.
Now take the blue camp. Tsai Ing-wen will be making a complete about face. She will be reaping the rewards of the cross-Strait policy authored by Ma Ying-jeou and the KMT. Asking the blue camp to swallow this injustice is asking a lot. Tsai Ing-wen is a person of dubious integrity. But the blue camp knows that cross-Strait relations are important. Is Tsai Ing-wen willing to make an about face and acknowledge the KMT's cross-Strait policy achievements? If she is, then the KMT should give her its blessing. Conversely, if Tsai Ing-wen intends to make an about face, she must act with honor. In her 5/20 inaugural address, she must acknowledge the cross-Strait accomplishments of the KMT and Ma Ying-jeou. She must extend an olive branch to the president and blue camp. This is the way to blue green reconciliation.
Now take the red camp. Despite everything so far, we think the Mainland should allow Tsai Ing-wen more latitude. It should at least "listen to what she says, and watch what she does”. It should not be in too big a hurry to punish Tsai Ing-wen through cross-Strait policy. Take for example, the standoff over the 1992 Consensus. The CCP may wish to consider her pespective. The 1992 Consensus was in fact, a “work in progress”. It was a creative means of creating an ambiguous consensus that simultaneously affirmed the one China principle while qualifying the one China principle. But as Tsai Ing-wen and the DPP see it, they had no role in its creation. They were not party to the consensus. The DPP may find it difficult to swallow the KMT's version of the 1992 Consensus. Tsai Ing-wen may find it difficult to answer to green camp supporters. Acceptance of the consensus, as is, would amount to political suicide.
The green camp and the red camp, including Tsai Ing-wen and Xi Jinping, should seek a new basis for cross-Strait relations. The Mainland may wish to give the DPP an opportunity to jointly author a new consensus that is nevertheless consistent with the one China principle. The term "old wine in new bottles" comes to mind. The essence of the consensus would remain unchanged, but it would not necessarily bear the name "1992 Consensus". That would provide Tsai Ing-wen with a face-saving measure.
Tsai Ing-wen will need to demonstrate greater sincerity and wisdom. The red and green camps do not trust each other. The two sides must seek some sort of middle ground. A purge of Sun Yat-sen portrais is a de-Sinicization provocation. It must be avoided at all cost. What should the new term for the 1992 Consensus be? Tsai Ing-wen should expand on the foundation established during the Ma Xi summit. Leaders from the two sides can meet. They can establish a newer, even more forward-looking basis for cross-Strait relations. Tsai Ing-wen may wish to create a new term for consensus, one able to win approval from the Mainland side.
People on the Mainland consider people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to be members of the same family. President Tsai Ing-wen's difficulties are everyone's to bear. The memory of Chen Shui-bian remains fresh. Tsai Ing-wen would do well to keep the lesson he provided in mind.
輿論普遍反對，大陸也說了重話：「司馬昭之心，路人皆知。」 面對此一議題，原本以「轉型正義」、「面對歷史真相」 搪塞的蔡英文，也察覺此一議題將會傷及兩岸關係， 要求民進黨團要有戰略思考，要有更多人一起討論， 有為廢國父遺像一事踩煞車的味道。
兩岸議題有著千難萬難的處境。顯然蔡英文將繼馬英九之後， 成為兩岸問題的新夾心餅乾，但其處境將比馬英九更艱難， 理由有三。其一，馬英九在兩岸是主和派， 受到的質疑主要仍來自於反對者，而不是支持者；蔡英文則不然， 執政後的她顯然想向主和派轉彎，因此， 她的反對者將來自於內部支持者，不只是民進黨的支持者， 還包括屬性偏於深綠的時代力量。
至少「大致如一」，沒有反覆跳躍的問題； 蔡英文在野時與在朝後的主張卻有180度的大轉變，「誠信」 質疑是她閃躲不了的另一場焦土試煉。
才會發生廢國父遺像風波。我們願意相信， 蔡英文應不至於如此不智地透過高志鵬釋放廢國父遺像的氣球， 應屬民進黨的自走炮效應。對外，也由於蔡英文的前後落差太大， 深深影響了大陸方面對蔡英文的信任，擔心她言行不一、明暗兩手。
紅三方都要試著幫蔡英文越過這三個艱難， 這不是為了蔡英文個人的政治利益，而是為台灣發展、 兩岸和平交流的長遠大計。
走鐘」製造蔡英文處理兩岸問題的困擾。 類似廢國父遺像的鬧劇多一樁，都只會讓蔡英文更尷尬難堪， 更難於處理兩岸關係。
雖然要藍營吞下蔡英文透過大轉彎來收割馬英九與國民黨的兩岸成果 ，從人性上來說並不容易。蔡英文的誠信固可質疑， 但藍營仍應有兩岸關係為重的胸襟，如果蔡英文確實願意轉彎， 願意接受國民黨兩岸和平發展政策的成果，仍宜祝福期勉。 但相對地來說，蔡英文既已確定要轉彎，更應該展現高度，在520 就職演說時肯定國民黨與馬英九對兩岸關係的貢獻，遞出橄欖枝， 以總統高度還藍營公道，這才是藍綠和解之道。
至少「聽其言、觀其行」，不要急率地在兩岸關係上對蔡英文出手。 以「九二共識」的僵持為例，中共不妨換位思考， 九二共識其實也是一個「形成的過程」， 以一種建設性的模糊方式創造出「九二共識」名詞，來包涵「 一個中國原則」並包容兩方對「一中原則」的歧異。 但從民進黨或蔡英文的角度來說， 共識形成過程中並無民進黨的角色。要民進黨吞下國共建構的「 九二共識」，蔡英文將難以向綠營支持者交待，也無異於政治自殺。
蔡英文與習近平才能找到一個新的基礎去延展、維繫兩岸關係。 大陸方面，不妨給民進黨一個「新參與」的可能性， 共同建構一個不違背「一個中國原則」核心，一種「新瓶裝舊酒」 的新名詞共識。亦即共識的本質不變，但共識的名字未必要執著於「 九二共識」，給蔡英文一個台階可下。
盡力找出雙方的中間帶，而如廢國父遺像此類的「去中國化」挑釁， 應極力避免。至於這個「新名詞」共識， 蔡英文可以在馬習會的基礎上向前延伸，兩岸領導人會面， 其實已為兩岸創建了一個更為前進的新基礎，這個新基礎， 蔡英文不妨以智慧將之化為一個可以獲陸方認同的「新名詞」共識。