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Councilor unhappy after Han not charged for treason

2019/12/01 22:12:12

Chen Chih-chung

Kaohsiung, Dec. 1 (CNA) A Kaohsiung city councilor voiced his dismay Sunday after prosecutors decided not to charge opposition Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) with treason for visiting Beijing's liaison offices in Hong Kong and Macau in March.

During his visit to Hong Kong and Macau as Kaohsiung mayor to sell the city's agricultural products, Han held meetings with top officials at the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the two special administrative regions of China.

Kaohsiung City Councilor Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), the son of former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), and four other city councilors, filed a complaint against Han with the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office on March 27, accusing him of treason.

They argued that by meeting with Chinese officials, Han gave tacit consent to China's "one country, two systems" unification formula and thus had undermined Taiwan's national interests and sovereignty.

The prosecutors, however, ruled out that Han's meetings had jeopardized the country's sovereignty.

Beijing's liaison offices in Hong Kong and Macau are not China's central governmental units responsible for pushing "one-country, two-systems," according to prosecutors.

As a city mayor, Han also did not have the capacity to engage in talks surrounding Taiwan's sovereignty, they argued.

Han did not express his support for the "1992 Consensus" during his meetings with Chinese officials. The two sides of the Taiwan Strait, however, have different interpretations of the consensus, prosecutors said.

Han's support of the "1992 Consensus," therefore, does not lead to the conclusion that he also supports "one-country, two systems," they said.

In response, Chen, a member of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), expressed his discontent over the prosecutors' decision.

He argued that prosecutors failed to ask Han about the details of his meetings with the Chinese officials before concluding that these meetings would not harm Taiwan's sovereignty.

Also, Han was already considering running for presidency back in March so his meetings with Chinese officials did pose a threat to the nation's security that could lead to treason charges, Chen argued.

According to the KMT, the 1992 consensus is a tacit understanding between the then-Kuomintang (KMT) government of Taiwan and the Chinese government.

Under the consensus, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge that there is only "one China," with each side free to interpret what "China" means, according to the KMT interpretation. Beijing, however, has never publicly recognized the second part of that interpretation.

The DPP rejects the "consensus" and the implication that Taiwan is a part of China, and Beijing has taken a hardline stance on cross-strait relations with the DPP government because of the DPP's position.

"One country, two systems," meanwhile, refers to a constitutional principle formulated by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) during the early 1980s, who suggested that there would be only one China, but distinct Chinese regions such as Hong Kong and Macau could retain their own economic and administrative systems.

Huge protests in Hong Kong in the past six months were ignited because of attempts by Beijing to go back on the "one country, two systems" concept and take away Hong Kong's autonomy.

(By Chen Chao-fu and Joseph Yeh)
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