Sunday, December 12, 2010

‘Taiwan consensus’ is a travesty

Su Chi is back with a new consensus, an ill-defined rhetorical contraption that blames the DPP for cross-strait misunderstandings and that highlights his poor understanding of plurality

If one thing can be said of former National Security Council secretary-general Su Chi (蘇起), it is that the man is infatuated with consensuses.

It was he who, just as the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was coming into office after the nation’s first transition of power in 2000, came up with the ambiguous — and dubious — “1992 consensus.” And it was he who, now wearing his academic hat, told a conference on Monday that what the nation needed was a “Taiwan consensus.”

In prescriptions that, on the surface (and only there) may have come across as infused with wisdom, Su said that before Taipei can approach more contentious areas of negotiation with Beijing such as Taiwan’s sovereignty, the DPP should take the initiative and work with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in forging a consensus.

Leaving aside the fact that Taiwan’s sovereignty shouldn’t be negotiable (especially not under coercive terms), Su then conveniently forgot recent history when, using the analogy of the “small triangle” between the DPP, KMT and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), he posited that the triumvirate was unstable because the DPP does not talk with the other two extremes of the geometrical object.

In other words, tensions in the Taiwan Strait, or lack of communication, are solely the DPP’s fault, as if the KMT didn’t have a long history of ignoring the DPP or stalling debate at the legislature — the nation’s democratic echo chamber, if you will.

My op-ed, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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