Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2010-05-27 12:00 AM
Tsai made the statement Tuesday at the presentation of a book about Taiwan's international status. The same day, the DPP officially confirmed the announcement that she would be running for mayor of Xinbei City in November elections.
During the decades that the Republic of China controlled Taiwan, its authoritarian nature and its Chinese nature were one, but at present, the Chinese characteristics and the Taiwan characteristics are trading places and the latter are becoming the mainstream, she said.
The authoritarian and the Chinese element made that Chinese culture and Chinese language were dominant in Taiwan, she added.
"How to build a common nation and how to build a new Taiwan are at present a grave and serious responsibility," she said.
The government and the ruling Kuomintang reacted furiously. KMT spokesman Su Jun-pin said that if Tsai and the DPP did not accept the Republic of China and only saw it as a government in exile, what kind of government did they run when they were in power from 2000 to 2008.
The Cabinet said the Republic of China was a sovereign and independent nation which had gone through liberalization, democratization and a handover of power in its 99 years of history.
Tsai was only helping to defuse the conflict, said DPP caucus whip Lee Chun-yee. Taiwan's present name is the Republic of China but it has a different meaning, so the KMT should not hypnotize itself but face history, Lee said.
Caucus chief whip Chai Trong-rong said that conflicts about national identity in Taiwan were caused by the KMT in the first place. At the Treaty of San Francisco in 1951, Japan had agreed to give up its sovereignty over Taiwan, but it had not declared to whom, so Tsai was right in describing the KMT rule as a government in exile, Chai said.
One can acknowledge that Chinese culture is one stream in Taiwan's culture, but not the mainstream, so Chinese culture could not replace Taiwanese culture, he said.
The Presidential Office said Tsai's comments were not fitting for an opposition party. Her statement had dealt a blow to a consensus about the Republic of China which had taken a long time to reach, said presidential spokesman Lo Chih-chiang.
Tsai's description was negating the country's sovereignty and independence and its Constitution while also belittling the previous DPP administration in which she served, Lo said.