Taiwan News has another hard hitting editorial, this time on how KMT Chairman Wu Po-hsiung has sold out the island and its vision of pluralistic democracy:

In the midst of the storm over Tuesday’s lightening hike in petroleum prices by the new Kuomintang government, virtually all of our citizens have failed to notice that the title deed to Taiwan’s hard-won democracy and substantive independence were literally being given away to the People’s Republic of China by the chairman of the self-same ruling KMT.

The transaction took place during the meeting in Beijing Wednesday between KMT Chairman Wu Po-hsiung and PRC State Chairman Hu Jintao, who was wearing his more important hat of general secretary of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

The results of the Hu - Wu tete-a-tete have already been lauded as a “breakthrough” for “peace between Taiwan and China” by international media and most of the local press, which dutifully reported Beijing’s instructions for the resumption of consultations between the Taiwan’s semi-official Strait Exchange Foundation and Beijing’s counterpart Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait next month in Beijing. Nevertheless, odes of joy that “peace in our time” has been realized would be premature before a close examination of the bill for this “ice-breaking.”

A close perusal of the charges show that all of the alleged gains of Hu’s apparent “concessions” overwhelmed by the cost to our freedom and future prosperity of the consensus reached by the two ruling parties on the overarching political framework for future cross-strait relations.

As warned in previous editorials, the signal for the KMT’s sell-out of Taiwan was conveyed by their repeated use of the term “Chinese nation” (zhonghua minzu) during their talks.

The decisive point, as the official Kuomintang News Network highlighted yesterday is that both Hu and Wu “used ‘Chinese nation’ to replace ‘one China.”‘

This political parlor trick did not simply “set aside the dispute over sovereignty,” as claimed by Wu, but instead elevated a racialist (and unhistorical) concept of the “Chinese nation” (invented by Qing Dynasty writer Liang Qichao in the early 1900s) based on “common blood ancestry” above both the PRC and the ROC constitutions and committed both ruling parties, in their status as the self-anointed representatives of the “great Chinese nation,” to the imposition of this “final solution” to the cross-strait dispute.

Not coincidentally, the substitution also superseded Ma’s claim that the so-called”Consensus of 1992″ allowed for “separate verbal expressions” of “one China” and Wu’s references to our president as “Mr Ma” confirmed this marginalization.

Since the PRC is a one - party dictatorship, no one will be able to object to Hu’s action, but the action of Wu and the KMT have illegitimately subordinated the democratic rights of the 23 million Taiwan people and the legal authority of newly inaugurated government of President Ma Ying-jeou to the arbitrary agenda of the “KMT-CCP platform.”

Moreover, the KMT and CCP clearly intend to use the “iron cage” of the “great Chinese nation” to imprison Taiwan’s citizen - based and democratic constitutional system and deny any option for the Taiwan people besides affiliation with the “great Chinese nation.”

The KMT - CCP consensus to enshrine the “Chinese nation” as the “final solution” has already surrendered Taiwan’s sovereignty in principle to the CCP; the role now earmarked for Taiwan’s democratically elected government and its “authorized” SEF is to negotiate the concrete terms of surrender, including the provision of face-saving “carrots,” with the ARATS.

The protest by Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan yesterday that the “track two” KMT-CCP platform “cannot override” the government authorized SEF-ARARTS channel is doomed to futility because the PRC, which is obviously the dominant partner in this asymmetrical political dance, has placed primacy on “party - to - party” negotiations and uses ARATS only as its tool.

Although the 23 million Taiwan people are the primary victims, President Ma himself has clearly been outflanked and outfoxed by the KMT old guard headed by his rivals such as KMT “honorary chairman” Lien Chan and Wu himself.

Besides negating the liberal and pluralist citizen nationalism of the Democratic Progressive Party and the Taiwan democratic movement, the KMT-CCP reification of an overarching racial concept of a “Chinese nation” also contravenes the ROC Constitution, a framework which Ma swore to defend and implement, which is itself founded on the spirit of civic nationalism and “people’s sovereignty.”

Article Two of the ROC Constitution, promulgated in December 1947, declares that the “sovereignty of the ROC resides in the whole body of citizens” while Article Three specifies that “people who possess the nationality of the ROC are ROC citizens.”

These two critical declarations show that the ROC’s republican foundation is not primarily based on its territory but upon “citizen nationalism” (kuominzhuyi) and not “racial nationalism” (minzuzhuyi).

President Ma has been effectively given the choice to either acquiesce in this sleazy transfer of “ownership” to the “great Chinese nation” and the disembowelment of our hard-won democracy or to join with democratic and Taiwan-centric forces to reject the right of the KMT and CCP to unilaterally impose their “final solution” and deny the autonomy, democracy and dignity of the 23 million Taiwan people.

I was discussing this editorial with a knowledgeable observer of Taiwan affairs, who pointed out that the emphasis on the chunghwa minzu as the basis for the “Chinese state” is a way to suppress ‘citizen nationalism’ and prevent it from spreading into the PRC. As the editorial points out, the PRC wants desperately to suppress Taiwan’s democracy, and the KMT has a similar interest — the locals once voted a non-KMT party into office. Note also that MAC headed by TSU politico Lai Shin-yuan has been totally bypassed in these negotiations.

Didn’t take long, did it?