DPP: Replace Vice Chairman of the SEF

he directors of DPP’s Department of Culture and Information and Department of International Affairs, Cheng wen-tsang and Lin Chen-wei respectively, held a joint press conference today (6/11) to address the implications of SEF Vice Chairman and Secretary-General Kao Koong-lian’s position as a consultant with Xiamen based Fujian-Taiwan Council for the Promotion of Economic Cooperation (FTCPEC). Kao currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), a semi-official organization funded by the government and controlled by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC). Since Kao’s consultancy status has undermined his current negotiating credibility, the DPP officially requests President Ma and MAC Chairwoman Lai Hsin-yuan to replace Kao. As for the SEF resuming talks with its Mainland counterpart, The Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), Director Lin emphasized the DPP’s position of the “two yeses” refer to the importance of protecting Taiwan’s sovereignty and dignity, and to uphold Taiwan’s collective interests in all negotiations. Conversely, the two no’s refer to the importance of these talks not to favor special interests or become involved in any political topics or commitments.

Director Lin pointed out that the honorary director of the organization is Lu Cheng-kun of the Fujian province of the People’s Republic of China, while the actual director of the organization is the governor of Fujian Huang Xiao-jing. The FTCPEC is in reality a front organization for the ‘United Front Department” of the PRC that intends to ‘unify’ Taiwan. Kao’s involvement with the organization on any level is already in violation of Article Thirty-three of the Act Governing the Relationship Between Peoples of the Taiwan area and the Mainland area. The role he assumed in the cross-straits talks will also affect the credibility of the negotiations. Kao never made public his consultant status, and this connection was not noted by the National Security council. Therefore, the DPP asks that President Ma and Chief of Mainland Affairs Council Lai Hsin-yuan dismiss and replace Kao immediately.

In regards to the talks between the DPP and KMT, Director Lin announced DPP’s “two yeses and two noes” platform. First and foremost, DPP wants the preservation of equality and respect for Taiwan to be a priority. Taiwan’s sovereignty must not be undermined and its dignity must not be lost. Lin also pointed out that that in the 1998 Koo Chen-fu talk with former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Koo challenged the Communist Chinese government to face the reality of the Republic of China’s existence. The KMT’s stance towards the mainland will be backtracked if Chiang Pin-kung, current Chairman of the SEF cannot face President Hu Jintao with a similar stance. Secondly, the DPP has always fought for the position that negations must consider terms that can benefit Taiwan as a whole. Director Lin stated that only two topics came up for discussion although MAC initially authorized SEF to engage in three. Ma has the responsibility to explain exactly how these two points of discussion are going to be beneficial to Taiwan and also explain when the third topic, chartered cargo flights, can be realized.

Director Lin also said that it is important that SEF and ARATS talks will not result in special interests given to any groups or individuals. Citing Chairman Chiang Pin-kun’s son, the CEO of a large corporation in Shanghai, as an example, Director Lin stated that many high level KMT officials have business ties on the mainland and wonders if these personal investments will present a conflict of interest or affect their attitudes when they engage in cross-strait discussions. These discussions should also not involve political agendas or promises that have no official consensus or in Taiwan. The SEF, only a semi-official organization in Taiwan, have no authority to deal with these political issues.

Director Cheng focused on the issue of the secret meetings held in Hong Kong by Secretary General of the National Security Council Su Chi. With all the mystery shrouding the Secretary General’s visits to Hong Kong, Cheng cannot help but wonder: exactly how many times has Su visited Hong Kong. It is also questionable who Su has met, what he talked about, and what promises, if any, has he made? Director Cheng emphasizes that there is a need for Su to disclose these details to the public in order to allow the National Security Council, society, and the people to maintain checks and balances on the relationship between Taiwan and China to prevent undesirable developments. The issue is especially sensitive since Secretary General Su is the admitted original author of the 1992 consensus, and he should clarify whether or not he has already secretly agreed to the terms of the 1992 consensus in Hong Kong as pre-conditions to the resumption of talks.