Wang Cho-chun Represents Official Policy, Jiang Ping Represents Individual Conduct
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
October 28, 2010
Two incidents have provided answers to questions surrounging recent cross-Strait controversies. They offer important indicators for future cross-Strait exchanges. First, National Police Administration Chief Wang Cho-chun led a delegation to the Mainland. This tells us the direction cross-Strait policy will be taking. Secondly, we have confirmation that the bizarre words and deeds of Mainland delegation leader Jiang Ping during the Tokyo Film Festival incident was merely a case of "individual conduct."
Yesterday Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Yang Yi responded to the Tokyo International Film Festival controversy. He said it "may have been due to a lack of communication between the two parties. It precipitated "a situation we do not want to see." The "we" Yang Yi referred to, is the central government in Beijing. The "do not want to see," Yang Yi referred to, was the consequences of Jiang Ping's words and deeds. Yang said, "Cross-strait relations are continually developing and improving. Under such circumstances, the two sides should avoid both external and internal frictions." His statement implied that Jiang Ping's conduct was a form of internal friction that ran counter to "continually developing and improving cross-Strait relations."
Most observers on Taiwan concluded that the Tokyo International Film Festival last weekend was the result of "individual conduct." They concluded that it could not have been an "offically sanctioned act by Beijing." This suggests that the two sides have established considerable mutual trust. No one believed that the central government in Beijing could possibly have committed such and ignorant and irrational act, given "continually developing and improving cross-Strait relations." Today, Yang Yi's remarks have confirmed that this mutual trust is real and well-founded. The two sides have struggled for two years on behalf of better relations. This should be an enormous relief to those with high hopes for improved cross-Strait relations. It is also a test of those relations, one whose result has not let them down.
Some Mainland netizens consider Jiang Ping a hero for the waves he generated during the film festival. But this is not the official position represented by Yang Yi. Even members of the Mainland delegation to the Tokyo Film Festival were displeased with Jiang Ping's conduct. Some feel his words and deeds did not represent the views of the delegation, but was merely a case of 'Jiang Ping directing a "Love Song of Kangding",' and backing out of the Tokyo International Film Festival. One delegation member said, "It was absurd. I cannot believe it represented the attitude of the [Mainland] Chinese government. It was merely a case of individual conduct." Turn the clock back two years, and it is unlikely delegation members would have been so free in expressing their opinions. As we can see by the attitudes expressed by Mainland delegation members, most people on the Mainland currently have a much better understanding of cross-Strait relations, and much deeper trust.
Contrast their views with Jiang Ping's faux pas. National Police Administration Chief Wang Cho-chun's visit to the Mainland constitutes an affirmation of our policy direction. The 17 member delegation will tour Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang over eight days. Mainland Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu will refer to Wang Cho-chun as "Taiwan's National Police Administration Chief." There will be no "white gloves." They will not refer to each other by such euphemisms as, "administrative experts." This may constitute only "one small step" in formal protocol. But it represents "one giant leap" in substantive progress. It deserves recognition, and should be encouraged. Jiang Ping shrilly insisted that "the Taiwan delegation to the Tokyo International Film Festival is part of the [Mainland] China delegation." Beijing's Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu on the other hand, greeted Taipei's National Police Administration Chief Wang Cho-chun on a basis of equality. Contrasting the two gives us a better understanding of what Mainland political advisor Zheng Bi-jian meant when he said, "Ideas determine one's path, Vision determines one's horizons."
In September Mainland Culture Minister Cai Wu visited Taiwan. His counterpart, Council for Cultural Affairs Chief Emile C. J. Sheng greeted him. More and more unprecedented, direct, face to face meetings between central government officials have taken place. Wang Cho-chun met with a Mainland delegation in his official capacity, using his official title. This should be considered a milestone. It also suggests a bold breakthrough on the part of Beijing. After all, they must deal with leftists such as Jiang Ping. In fact, both sides have Jiang Ping counterparts. When Cai Wu visited in September, we hoped Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan and Taiwan Affairs Office Director Wang Yi could meet. The two sides' economic leaders have met frequently. The two sides' premiers have also met. Beijing is able to accept "Taiwan's National Police Administration," and may be able to accept "Taiwan's premier." In other words, through our deeds, we can change the attitudes of Jiang Ping counterparts on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. We can gradually persuade them to accept a reasonable and legitimate "framework of equality." In that case, a "Ma Hu Summit" would no longer be an impossibility.
Jiang Ping's words and deeds have been rejected by most people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. This shows that most people share the same views, and hope to improve cross-Strait relations. Jiang Ping's individual conduct can only lead to a dead end. Wang Cho-chun's official visit represents official policy, and a way out of the previous impasse. The waves generated by Jiang Ping were not something the two sides were happy to see. Wang Cho-chun's visit, on the other hand, represents a trend that everyone is happy to see.