Thursday, March 12, 2009

In Response to Wang Yi's Response

In Response to Wang Yi's Response
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
March 13, 2009

When Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office Director Wang Yi was interviewed by China Central Television recently, he mentioned cross-Strait issues, including CECA. Quoting a March 4 United Daily News editorial he said, "To use the United Daily News' metaphor, we hope the two sides will not engage in "Invitation to a Funeral" oriented wishful thinking, but instead offer each other a mutually beneficial win-win "Invitation to a Dance."

This is the first time one of Beijing's top policymakers has used a Taiwan-based newspaper editorial as part of his argument. We are deeply gratified that Beijing has taken note of public opinion on Taiwan. We heartily endorse Wang Yi's "Invitation to a Dance" declaration and his forswearing of any "Invitation to a Funeral." The theme of the March 4 United Daily News editorial was "Beijing: An Invitation to a Funeral, or an Invitation to a Dance?" The editorial argued that Beijing must not regard the signing of CECA as a short term "Invitation to a Funeral." Instead it should regard the signing of CECA as a win-win "Invitation to a Dance" that takes the long view and promotes mutual prosperity. If Beijing sees CECA as an "Invitation to a Funeral," as a means to seal Taipei up in a funerary urn, away from the outside world, it will be acting in defiance of justice and in defiance of public opinion. Cross-Strait relations will be led astray. The editorial also argued that Beijing should declare that it looks forward to seeing Taipei conclude FTAs with ASEAN and other countries. At this point, we would like to make the following recommendations to the mainland authorities and the ruling and opposition parties on Taiwan.

One. Make an "Invitation to a Dance / Win-Win and Mutual Prosperity" an article of political faith and goal to strive for. This must be done in good faith, straight from the heart. One must not talk about an "Invitation to a Dance" while making Machiavellian preparations for an "Invitation to a Funeral." If our observation is correct, Hu Jintao and his generation have undergone a major transformation in their thinking about cross-Strait relations. Our reading is that they speak of "peaceful reunification" but are in fact pursuing "peaceful development." They are shelving goal-oriented "reunification vs. independence." They are implementing process-oriented "peaceful development." In the blink of an eye, the two sides have apparently emerged from a dark tunnel onto a sunlit plain.

Why do we wish to make an "Invitation to a Dance" an article of faith and a goal to strive for? In reality Beijing has many ways to deal with cross-Strait relations. It has many ways to gauge the success of its domestic and foreign policy. How Beijing handles the Taiwan question must be acceptable internationally. It must be acceptable to the public on the mainland. It must be acceptable to the public on Taiwan. Therefore, if Beijing is sincere about a "Win-Win Dance" with Taipei, it must uphold peace and democracy. If Beijing applies these two criteria to other areas of its domestic and foreign policy, all of China will undergo improvement. Surely Hu Jintao and his generation have the vision to deal with the Taiwan issue in a peaceful and democratic manner. After all, China's problems can only be solved under conditions of peace and democracy. Therefore an "Invitation to a Dance" must be an article of faith, not a means of deception.

Two. The "One China Principle", should be increasingly understood as "One China, Different Interpretations." The root cause of cross-Strait problems is Taiwan independence. The main reason Taiwan independence lingers on is that the Republic of China remains in dire straits, that the Republic of China is accorded little dignity. Beijing's bottom line is opposition to "de jure Taiwan independence." The Republic of China does not mean Taiwan independence. The Republic of China is founded on a "One China Constitution." If Beijing does not want Taiwan independence to take the place of the Republic of China, it must maintain the Republic of China's "One China Constitution." Beijing's current policy is to "maintain the status quo." It must accord the Republic of China sufficient respect and breathing room. Beijing may find it difficult to explicitly agree to "One China, Different Interpretations." The one time Hu Jingtao mentioned it was on the Hot Line to George W. Bush. But although he may not be able to say it, that doesn't mean he can't do it. For example, when the ROC flag recently appeared at the Tokyo Stadium, Beijing lodged no protests. This is a positive sign.

Three. If Beijing is not offering us an "Invitation to a Funeral," it should be happy to see Taipei's participation in the international community. Once CECA has been signed, the signing of FTAs between Taipei, ASEAN, the United States, and other countries should follow as a matter of course. After all, Beijing cannot possibly reunify the two sides by suffocating Taipei. Wang Yi said he is cautiously optimistic about WHA participation in May. Beijing must not regard this as merely a change in political tactics, but as a transformation in thought.

We once used the "chopsticks analogy" to characterize cross-Strait relations. If two chopsticks are solidly bound to each other, if they are "unified" in that sense, they become unusable. If they are totally separated, if they are "independent" in that sense, they also become unusable. The normal operation of a pair of chopsticks requires that they be both "unified" and "independent." Only then can they be used. CECA is a "Big Tent." It is like a pair of chopsticks. It is neither independent nor unified, while simultaneously independent and unified. This may be the best way to promote cross-Strait "peaceful development."

In fact, Deng Xiaoping said it long ago. Cross-Straits relations are not about who gobbles up whom. Deng Xiaoping's words are perhaps something Hu Jintao and his generation can make an article of faith and a goal to strive for.

2009.03.13 05:56 am



本報三月四日社論的題目是〈北京的思考:請君入甕或與卿共舞? 〉文中指出:北京不可將簽訂CECA視作「請君入甕」的短線操作,而應看成雙贏共榮的「與卿共舞」,追求的是可大可久。北京若將CECA視為「甕」,欲封 死台灣在「甕」外的世界,則屬逆天理、反民意,兩岸關係亦將走上歧途絕路。社論並主張:北京應宣示樂見台灣與東協及其他國家締結FTA。在此,我們願對彼 岸朝野再進數言:

一、要將「與卿共舞/雙贏共榮」作為一種政治信仰及境界的追求。要打從心裡就是這麼想,這麼相信;不要有口說「與卿共舞」、陰裡「請君入甕」的權謀思考。 如果我們的觀察無誤,胡錦濤這一代對兩岸關係的思維已有極大的昇華。我們的解讀是:他虛懸「和平統一」,而採取了「和平發展」的務實路線;也就是擱置了統 獨「目的論」的窠臼,改尚和平發展的「過程論」。一念之轉,兩岸似已出現柳暗花明的新形勢。

為什麼說要將「與卿共舞」這種思考,視為一種信仰及境界的追求?其實,北京可將其處理兩岸關係的方法,作為其對內對外治理的檢驗標尺。因為,北京處理台灣 問題的方法,對外必須被國際接受,對內必須被大陸民意接受,對台灣更須被台灣的民主體制接受;因此,如果真心實意要和台灣「雙贏共舞」,則必定要維持「和 平」與「民主」兩大準則。而北京若以這兩大準則,用於對內與對外其他領域的治理,則整個中國的境界亦可望相應提升。胡錦濤這一代應當有此抱負:要以和平民 主的方法處理台灣問題。因為,整個中國的問題,也唯有在「和平/民主」的準則下,始可能得到解決。所以說,「與卿共舞」只能是信仰,而不可是權謀。

二、關於「一個中國的原則」,應漸漸容納「一中各表」。兩岸問題的要害在台獨,而台獨之所以存在,主因是中華民國處境艱窘,中華民國沒有尊嚴。北京今日的 底線是反對「法理台獨」,而中華民國不是台獨;中華民國的立足基點是「一中憲法」,北京若不欲台獨取代中華民國,即應珍惜「一中憲法」之維持;北京今日政 策是「維持現狀」,就必須給中華民國應有的尊嚴與空間。北京或許暫難宣示「一中各表」(唯一的一次在布胡熱線),但雖不可說,卻不是不可慢慢做。例如,最 近東京球場上出現青天白日滿地紅旗,未見北京抗議,這應是佳兆。


我們曾以「筷子理論」喻兩岸關係。兩隻筷子若綁死在一起,是「統一」之害,不能有筷子的功能;若分離兩處,則是「獨立」之害,也不能有筷子的功用。一雙正 常操作的筷子,必定是有合有分,始能靈動自如。CECA這類「軟屋頂」,正如有合有分的一雙筷子,不獨、不統、亦獨、亦統,或許正是兩岸「和平發展」的最 佳機制。


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