Beyond the Chinese Civil War:
Cross-Strait Model for Human Civilization
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
February 3, 2013
Summary: Cross-Strait relations have long ago transcended the framework of the
KMT vs. CCP Chinese Civil War. Instead, they have become significant
events in the history of human civilization, with a palpable moral
dimension. Needless to say, they are even more significant for the
history of China.
Full text below:
Cross-Strait relations have long ago transcended the framework of the KMT vs. CCP Chinese Civil War. Instead, they have become significant events in the history of human civilization, with a palpable moral dimension. Needless to say, they are even more significant for the history of China.
The Chinese Civil War was a war between two armed political entities. It was a dog eat dog, life-and-death struggle. But the Republic of China has created the first liberal democracy in five thousand years of Chinese history. Should it really be eaten? Also, the People's Republic of China has become a rising power. It must bear the great responsibility that comes with great power. It must not adopt a dog eat dog approach to cross-Strait issues. This has a bearing on more than just the Chinese Civil War. It has a bearing on human history. It is a significant event in the history of Chinese civilization, with a significant moral dimension.
Cross-strait relations have evolved. People the world over have no desire to witness a dog eat dog scenario. Nor are the Chinese people eager to add another dog eat dog chapter to China's history. Consider the matter from the perspective of global civilization and Chinese history. The ultimate solution for cross-strait relations ought to be something worthy of human civilization and China's glorious history. It should not be a tragedy that leaves a black mark on global civilization and Chinese history.
In June 1983, Deng Xiaoping said "Reunification is not about me swallowing up you. Nor is it about you swallowing up me." His words divided 64 years of cross-Strait relations into three stages.
Stage One. During the three decades prior to 1983, the two sides found themselves mired within the framework of the Cold War. The two sides experienced great trouble managing their internal affairs. This was the era of "Liberate Taiwan!" vs. "Reconquer the Mainland!" This was a dog eat dog deadlock.
Stage Two. During the three decades following 1983, the sides established an atmosphere that enabled peaceful development. Deng Xiaoping articulated his "I don't swallow you, and you don't swallow me" thesis, and his "peaceful reunification, one country, two systems" thesis. In 1987, Chiang Ching-kuo lifted martial law and enabled cross-Strait visits. In 2005, Lien Chan and Hu Jintao held their historic summit. In 2008, Ma Ying-jeou won the presidential election.
Today, in 2013, the two sides are entering Stage Three. In November 2012, Hu Jintao issued the Chinese Communist Party's 18th National Congress Report on Taiwan. Hu wrote "Although the two sides have yet to be reunified, they are nevertheless both part of one China." He wrote, "we must seek to establish political relations under special circumstances in which the nation has yet to be reunified, making fair and reasonable arrangements." This stage is characterized by a shift in the focus of cross-strait policy. It has shifted from a yearning for far off reunification, to a search for political relations under yet to be reunified conditions.
Stage Three attempts to resolve the quandary posed by Deng Xiaoping. Deng Xiaoping said "Reunification is not about me swallowing you. Nor is it about you swallowing me." But doesn't "one country, two systems" imply the "Hong Kong model?" What is that, if not "swallowing me?" Therefore, how does establish a framework in which "I do not swallow you, and you do not swallow me?"
If one wishes to establish a framework for Stage Three, that framework must be based on a "big roof concept of China." Under the big roof, the Republic of China is "democratic China." The People's Republic of China is "socialist China." Both are part of one China. Both belong under one big roof. They are both part of a one China in which sovereignty is shared. Political relations under conditions in which the two sides have yet to be reunified, ensures that "I did not swallow you, and you do not swallow me." The goal of cross-strait relations is long-term mutual adaptation, leading to the creation of a model befitting global civilization and China's glorious history, one that could proudly considered a "Renaissance for the Chinese people."
Today's Republic of China is "democratic China." This is the primary reason the Republic of China must not be swallowed up. The Republic of China is a "Republic" of "China." It is a moral legacy of Chinese civilization. It is no longer merely the civil war political opponent of the Communist Chinese Party. Cross-strait relations are no longer about the Chinese civil war. They are about man's history and Chinese civilization.
The People's Republic of China is politically and economically powerful. But even according to social democratic legal standards, the Beijing regime has yet to meet the expectations of human civilization and Chinese history. Consider the recent "Southern Weekend" and "Yan Huang Chun Qiu" incidents. The Constitution of the People's Republic of China has yet to live up to its commitments.
Therefore, only under the big roof concept of China, can the Republic of China expect greater freedom and democracy in the People's Republic of China. The People's Republic of China should be content, provided the Republic of China is under the big roof concept of China. This would affirm its respect for human civilization and responsibility to Chinese history.
If, on the other hand, one side swallows up the other, that would surely leave a black mark in the history of human civilization and Chinese history.
History has moved on. The two sides have moved beyond the dog eat dog framework of the Chinese Civil War. The big roof concept of China offers a reasonable process by which to advance the two sides' political and economic platform, to set an example for world civilization, and to author a glorious chapter in China's history.