KMT Chairman and Presidential Candidate Eric Chu is on his US tour. He visited Brookings in DC today.....
Friend says: Here is the text of the opening statement Eric Chu gave at Brookings this morning. He first read it to the press outside, and then reiterated it at the closed-door meeting inside.
Eric Chu opening statement at Brookings this morning
It gives me great pleasure to be in this institution, a bulwark in American democracy that knows the science of public policies and the art of speaking truth to power. And it is not just the academic appeal of the Brookings Institution that brings me here, it is also the friendship I, my party the KMT, the opposition party DPP, and, indeed, all Taiwan people have enjoyed for decades that led me here. We are thankful of American’s support for Taiwan’s democracy.
As top experts in Chinese foreign policy and cross-strait relations, you can see that peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is in the national interests of Taiwan, Mainland China, and the United States. Any misstep by any party in the triangular relationship can seriously damage the delicate balance of interests across the Taiwan Strait.
Therefore, on June 3, DPP Chairwoman Tsai revealed in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies that she has “articulated and reiterated [her] position of maintaining the status quo”…and that she “will push for the peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations in accordance with the will of the Taiwanese people and the existing ROC constitutional order.” The “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait, however, is a major achievement of President Ma. And as the presidential candidate of the KMT, I most certainly will maintain the status quo. So, does this mean that “the more things change, the more they stay the same?” After all, Taiwan has undergone many difficulties over the past two years. Has the DPP finally turned a new page in its dealing with Mainland China? My answer is “Hardly.”
There is a major difference between the DPP’s treatment of cross-strait relations and the KMT’s. The DPP engages in wishful thinking vis-à-vis cross-strait relations. The DPP offers a policy goal, i.e., maintaining the status quo, which people agree upon, but the DPP shirks the responsibility of providing a workable formula to achieve that goal. The KMT treats cross-strait relations as a “substantive policy”, that is, you need to gauge how other parties think of you, what kind of policy framework you should lay down, what signals you should send and expect to receive, and, ultimately, how you walk the tightrope in dealing with a rising great power. President Ma has done an excellent job in designing an architecture that created and helps maintain the current status quo. But he did neglect one aspect about the complicated and complex nature of cross-strait relations. If elected president, I will make up for what he left out—cultivating a domestic base for a grand strategy that can secure peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
Before I start discussions with the distinguished scholars present here, let me draw a rough outline of my cross-strait policy:
Taiwan needs to continue its current policy framework to pursue rapprochement with China so as to make the status quo work;
Taiwan must strengthen its understanding of China and incorporate a realistic assessment of China’s intentions toward Taiwan in every round of encounters;
While working closely with the United States, Taiwan must not entrap the United States in any unnecessary entanglements in the Taiwan Strait;
For Taiwan to be a responsible stakeholder, Taiwan people must think responsibly and seriously about its national security;
Taiwan must further liberalize its trade regime to make its businesses more competitive in the world market. And,
To achieve the above, institutional reforms will be needed.
That is the end of my remarks for now. Thank you.
It is hard to see how Chu can do this:
"If elected president, I will make up for what [Ma] left out—cultivating a domestic base for a grand strategy that can secure peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait."...since the public is opposed to the KMT's cross-strait policies and Chu's cross-strait policies are simply those of Ma himself. Chu is aiming this at audiences back home, of course.
Note in transcript below the State Dept once again says it isn't going to intervene in the election.
UPDATE: State Dept Transcript:
QUESTION: Hi. Nadia Tsao with the Liberty Times Taiwan. Just follow up, Chairman Chu just visit Washington, I believe, both Danny has met President – Chairman Chu. So did you find that there were more information provided by Mr. Chu regarding the meeting between Ma and Xi? Do you think this is (inaudible) actually, less flexibility between Taiwan and China in the future if the opposition party got elected? And do you got any new information from Mr. Chu? Thank you.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY RUSSEL: Well, look, our conversations with the KMT candidate for office in the upcoming elections in Taiwan focused on policy. We have an open door to major political actors from Taiwan, and I want to underscore that, contrary to speculation in the Taiwan press, we treat both representatives from the KMT and the DPP with an equal degree of access, with evenhanded treatment. We don’t play favorites. It’s for the voters on Taiwan to decide who their favorite is. So we don’t back parties, but we do care about policies. And these visits have created an opportunity for us to consult, confer, and discuss policy issues with the head of the KMT as it did with the head of the DPP earlier on.
I think the real point is that we have strong unofficial ties based on our deep respect for Taiwan’s democracy, based on our interest and stake in Taiwan’s security and freedom from coercion, based on our economic interests, and those considerable economic interests, and based on our support for an appropriate level of access for Taiwan in the international arena and international space. So the focus of our conversation was in the context of our “one China” policy, how our unofficial relations can develop and how the stability of cross-straits can be sustained, and how tensions there can be reduced. So I think it was definitely a constructive set of exchanges.
MR KRITENBRINK: I fully agree – could I add just a couple of points. I completely agree with everything Danny said, and I just wanted to underscore a couple of things that Danny mentioned. One, we welcome Chairman Chu’s visit. Our conversations with him were productive. Number two, we received Chairman Chu in exactly the same way that we received DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen during her visit to Washington in June. We met both candidates at exactly the same level. And thirdly, I’d just emphasize and underscore what Danny said: We will not take sides in the election; the outcome of Taiwan’s election is a matter for the people of Taiwan to decide. We respect Taiwan’s robust democracy. We look forward to working with whomever the people of Taiwan choose as their next leader.
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