Taiwanese will not fall for Chinese mendacity

April 21, 2019
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Taiwanese will not fall for Chinese mendacity

By Tseng Kuei-hi, William Harn, Tiunn Hok Chu, Weng Ming-jang

The Jan. 6 edition of the China Times, a China-friendly newspaper published in Taiwan, carried a front-page article targeting President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) under the extra-large headline: “Tsai is deceiving the international community.” The article criticizes Tsai’s response to what Chinese President Xi Jingping (習近平) said about the so-called “1992 consensus” and the “one country, two systems” model in his Jan. 2 speech to mark the 40th anniversary of China’s “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan.”

We cannot help wondering whether the China Times published this article on the orders of its behind-the-scenes boss.

In her New Year’s Day address, Tsai criticized China, in very moderate terms, over its handling of widespread outbreaks of African swine fever. “If we can’t even have sincere cooperation on epidemic prevention and treatment, how can we talk about both sides of the Taiwan Strait being one family?” she said.

Tsai wants the Chinese government to pay serious attention to the spread of African swine fever in China, in view of the serious threat that it poses to Taiwan’s agriculture and the livelihoods of Taiwanese farmers. She hopes that China can honestly and accurately report the status of its epidemic to the World Organisation for Animal Health.

The Council of Agriculture and related agencies are naturally very eager to prevent African swine fever from spreading to Taiwan.

The day after Tsai’s New Year’s Day address, Xi delivered his “Message to Compatriots” anniversary speech, and Tsai immediately responded, stating categorically that “Taiwan absolutely will not accept ‘one country, two systems’” and that “we have never accepted the ‘1992 consensus.’”

Her statements, which clearly express that democracy is Taiwan’s greatest consensus, have won the support and applause of the vast majority of Taiwanese. Friends of Taiwan in many countries have also posted messages on the Internet expressing their affirmation and support.

We also wish to express our strong support for Tsai’s statements, and to explain the determined points she put forward, undeterred by pressure coming from a powerful nation.

“Yesterday Tibet, today Hong Kong.” Be it “both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one family” or the “1992 consensus,” these “passwords” are all poisonous baits laid down by China to package its “one country, two systems” formula and force Taiwan to accept it at some time in the future.

Tsai therefore clearly and unequivocally told China and the international community that Taiwan rejects the “one country, two systems” framework and that democracy is Taiwan’s greatest consensus.

Tsai has simply done what she is supposed to do, in her role as Taiwan’s president, to safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty and protect Taiwanese. It is with the same purpose in mind that she has called on other political parties to stop talking about the so-called “1992 consensus.”

In view of all this, how can anyone say that “Tsai is deceiving the international community”?

The authors are all former presidents of the Southern Taiwan Society.

Translated by Julian Clegg


This article was published on Editorials of Taipei Times on Jan. 23, 2019

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