Was reading up on some notes of the presentation of Taiwan Defense Minister Andrew Hsia at one of the conferences on the 35th anniversary of the TRA. Hsia said the government recognizes three security threats:
1. unconventional threats - climate change, natural disasters.I thought it was cool that global warming was the number one threat, and thought it was really stupid that the second one was Japan and the Senkakus/Diaoyutai (and Manila. LOL). I doubt many ordinary people see Japan as a threat. It really shows the insanity of the ROC position on the Senkakus, and also their important function as an irritant in Japan-Taiwan relations, cooling and complicating Japanese support for Taiwan.
2. "problems with Japan over the Diaoyutai," issue with the Philippines
3. biggest threat still the other side with its increasing defense budget since 1985.
The notes observed that Hsia's next point was that the government wants a prosperous and stable Taiwan without being coerced by China, based on the 1992 consensus. But interestingly, Hsia then said that due to the lack of mutual trust and Taiwan being a democracy, there is no consensus on how to handle China. Hsia then went on to claim that the KMT move toward Beijing was apolitical and pragmatic (how they love that word!).
You can see the political function of the constant claim about how there is no consensus from the KMT side right in Hsia's comments. The reason they keep reiterating that is (1) to cover the fact that there is indeed a consensus and (2) it permits them to do whatever they want -- they're not defying the consensus, right? -- and claim that since there is no consensus, they aren't being "political."
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