Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

DPP unconvinced by Ma's '10 assurances' on peace pact idea

ROC Central News Agency

2011/10/25 18:09:25

Taipei, Oct. 25 (CNA) Opposition leaders said Tuesday they were not at all convinced by President Ma Ying-jeou's "10 assurances" for the signing a possible peace agreement with mainland China.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen, who is challenging Ma in next January's presidential elections, said she was not reassured by Ma's position on the cross-strait and nuclear power issues.

"If he is talking just about his personal will and goals, it is worrying," said Tsai in response to reporters' questions during a campaign event in Sanchong, New Taipei City.

On Monday, the president said he would not push for a peace pact with the mainland unless 10 conditions have been met.

He offered his "10 assurances" in a slogan that read "one framework, two pre-conditions, three principles and four firm assurances."

The one framework refers to the Republic of China Constitution under which the government will maintain the status quo, which can be characterized as "no unification, no independence and no use of arms" in dealing with China.

The two pre-conditions are strong public support and adequate mutual trust on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

The three principles refer to national needs, public support and legislative supervision. At one point, Ma said a referendum would be a good safety valve for ensuring public support.

His four firm assurances are safeguarding the sovereignty of the Republic of China, Taiwan's security and prosperity, ethnic harmony and cross-strait peace, and environmental sustainability and social justice.

Tsai said the president's lengthy list of assurances did not ease people's worry that his peace-pact project will cause "four grave dangers" -- sacrificing Taiwan's sovereignty, changing the status quo across the strait, endangering Taiwan's hard-earned democracy, and undermining Taiwan's strategic advantages.

"If he is so confident about his peace pact initiative, why does he have to come up with 10 assurances?" Tsai asked.

She said she suspected that Ma was pursuing a "personal mission" with the peace pact idea. Making a major decision based on "personal will" rather than "public opinion" is worrying, she said.

People would feel that the president has been hasty and has flip-flopped in making major policy decisions, she said.

"This will be reflected in the general public's level of trust and confidence in the president," she said.

Turning to the nuclear power issue, Tsai said Ma is determined to see the fourth nuclear power plant, being built in northeastern Taiwan, go into commercial operation despite the safety concerns raised by experts.

Meanwhile, former Vice President Annette Lu said if Taiwan signed a peace deal with China, it should be named a "peace treaty" rather than a peace agreement.

A treaty would be between nations while an agreement would imply "between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait," Lu said.

Two conditions should be met before Taiwan signs such a deal with China, Lu suggested.

"Domestically, a consensus must be reached through a referendum, while internationally, Taiwan should invite the United Nations or third-party countries to intervene," she said.

With the participation of major international organizations or third countries in the process, the cross-strait peace deal would become an international treaty rather than what Beijing would see as a "domestic" accord, according to Lu.

Tsai Huang-liang, the DPP's legislative caucus whip, said Ma's "10 assurances" will be a bounced check because "he absolutely" will not be able to make good on his word.

Chang Yen-hsien, former director of the National History Museum, said the UN resolution No. 2758, on which Taiwan withdrew from the world body, has not solved the so-called Taiwan problem.

Since Taiwan is not part of the People's Republic of China, Chang said, the president should not try to pursue a cross-strait peace pact under the framework of "one China." (By Chiu Chun-chin, Sunrise Huang , Wen Kui-hsiang, Lu Hsin-hui, Ho Meng-kui and S.C. Chang) enditem /pc

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