Monday, February 13, 2006

National Unification Council Hu-Ha Continues

President Chen's suggestion in his New Year's speech that the National Unification Council Guidelines be abolished, and the subsequent strong remarks by the State Department, has produced attacks and justifications on all sides. The Taipei Times has run a series of articles supporting Chen's position:

Unification Guidelines Violate People's Will

Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday that Taiwan's National Unification Guidelines are similar in spirit to China's "Anti-Secession" Law in that they both assume unification to be the ultimate goal of cross-strait relations -- an assumption that violates the people's freedom of choice.

"The National Unification Guidelines are similar to certain articles of China's `Anti-Secession' Law as both advocate unification. [This] could easily confuse international society. Therefore, it is necessary to consider whether to keep the guidelines, in order to safeguard the opportunity for Taiwanese people to decide their own future," Wu said yesterday during an interview with a local TV station.

The day before, the TT ran an article that showed support from US Congress critters and FAPA:

"Chen Shui-bian is a man of peace," three members of the House of Representatives said in statements on the House floor on Wednesday.

The three congressmen, all Republicans, were Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Pete Sessions of Texas and Virginia Foxx of North Carolina.

Addressing the unification question, Garrett said that the NUC "has long had its effectiveness in question," adding that Chen "does not want to see unification become the only option for cross-strait relations."

"China must learn to respect the aspirations of Taiwan's 23 million people who want to be masters of their own land," Garrett said, in comments repeated by Sessions and Foxx. "Taiwan is a free and democratic nation and deserves to be treated with respect by the international community."

Sessions cited the House's 424-4 vote last spring that blasted China's passage of the "Anti-Secession" Law.

"China has no justification to change the status quo either through the `Anti-Secession Law' or military intimidation," he said.

as well as a series of editorials, DPP moving in the right direction, US must support democratic ideals, and National Unification Guidelines out of date. Meanwhile, remarks are reaching my ears to the effect that people within the government are upset that Chen did not inform anyone -- the Cabinet, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the US -- of what he was going to say. Nobody apparently asked him about it either. Apparently there are some badly-managed communication lines between all parties here.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it is because there are these sorts of diverse constituencies in the US that the govt would rather not see the NUC/G raked over when they thought they wouldn't be - including by a few well-meaning people's representatives. More power to them, but I suspect the quickest route to smooth ties between the US and Taiwan is good communication. Hey - how about a Chen Shui-bian hotline: "Guys, I'm thinking of returning to the state-to-state theory thing again...whaddya think?"