Chen Shui Bian's next step

Enough has been said about CSB's announcemnet yesterday, that the NUC will "cease to function", and NUG "cease to apply". The move is a symbolic one which does not yield to any change in reality. In fact, as jujuflop pointed out, it is even a 'reversible' one.

The controversy generated is the concern that CSB's move to 'creeping independence', which even the Bush administration does not "approve".

The most valid attack on CSB is that he broke his promise of "4 No's and 1 without". DPP (and its apologists) has provided various defense, including pulling out the Anti-Secession Law almost a year ago. But these are very lame explanations (e.g. NUC should "cease to function" a year earlier if so). However, if you read into the words, it is not really a breaking of promise. I guess in terms of "common interpretation" he did break his promise. But if we read into his original text of "1 without", we can only say that he deliberately misled everybody in 2000.

Here is the "1 without"
Yes, the common inference from everybody who understand the Chinese language is that "no question" means he would not touch the issue. But it could also be interpreted as "no question" from CSB's own perspective (that "it would be abolished some day"). If one interprets it this way, CSB's recent move is premediated. In fact, planned from 2000. Otherwise, it would have been "5 No's", instead of "4+1".

If one takes such reasoning (I am not saying this is logically correct, I am just trying to follow CSB's own twisted logic, which is more logically than that offered by some of the DPP apologists), it is worthwhile to re-examine the room of interpretation allowed for by the "4 No's", that CSB will NOT
  • 1)不會宣佈臺灣獨立;declare Taiwan independence
  • 2) 不會更改國號,(把“中華民國”改爲“臺灣共和國”);change the name of the nation (from ROC to ROT)
  • 3)不會推動‘兩國論入憲’ (把“特殊的國與國的關係”的說法包含到中華民國憲法中) or push for including the notion of "special nation-to-nation relationship" into the ROC constitution
  • 4)不會推動有關統獨的公投;push for referendum regarding the issue of unification or independece
If someone else (e.g. TSU) pushes for the referendum, and CSB supports it passively, does he break his promise? In fact, CSB has pushed for a referedum in 2004, on some 'pointless topics' (quoting David's comment at jujuflop). What about 'not pushing for', but 'quieting supporting' the amendment of constitution? In other word, CSB could play word games with himself. He could still be legally infallible, in parallel to Clinton's "did not have sex defense".

We will have to wait and see. CSB's next speech could be, "We will considering supporting, even if we will not push for..."


David said...

I agree. The big issue is whether he's breaking his promise, and what it means for the '4 (remaining) noes'.

One of the (many) things that pisses me off about this is that Chen hasn't actually mentioned his inauguration promises at all in all of this. Is he claiming that China 'intends to use force' and so none of the promises now apply? Some of his supporters say so, but he hasn't. Is your interpretation what he's thinking? Maybe, he hasn't said.

I was expecting that he would explitly clarify the state of these promises to mollify the US, but he hasn't (yet).

As to the next step - you may be interested to know that Chen has repeatedly talked about the next constitutional reform being a 'bottom up' process driven by the people - not by him or the DPP ... which fits your theory nicely ...

Lee said...

Applying Sun Bin's game theory (previous post), I believe CSB is cleverly thinking outside of the box to counter being pinned by the Mainland, which is trying to win the Taiwanese's support with Panda, fruits import, low cost colledge education, etc.

Sun Bin said...

The best response from the mainland is the "Tai-chi" way, i.e. do nothing, as suggested by Forest

Sun Bin said...

There are a few mp3 flowing around the internet in mainland with some trash talk rap against CSB, e.g..

I think the music is not bad, but the lyrics are quite mediocre. But this is a better response than shooting missiles, or anyh word out of Tang Jiaxuan's mouth.

bobby fletcher said...

Some of the reports had mentioned NUC's budget were slahed to less than US$50 per year by Chen ever since he took office.

So this move is more or less a formality that touches the question of maintaining status-quo.

There's another problem for Chen's TI agenda - ROC Constitution Article 4 clearly states altering existing territory isn't within the power of the executive.

Sun Bin said...

I think it was about $35 (NT$1000).

Yes, those are the concern. Is he going to honor 4 No's and proceed with "creeping TI"?
On top of it, US had a different reason to be annoyed, CSB did not seek their "approval".