When Will Taipei and Beijing Sign a Peace Agreement?
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China)
August 13, 2013
Summary: Taipei and Beijing are about to enter a phase in which no peace agreement equals no peaceful development. Therefore, to put it bluntly, if the DPP refuses to recognize the 1992 consensus, it will be unqualified to return to power. If it does return to power under such conditions, it will only destroy Taiwan.
Full text below:
The Second Huashan Conference indicates that the DPP has refused to accept the 1992 consensus. But some media organizations are urging the KMT and CCP to seize the initiative and sign a peace agreement between the two parties.
These are parallel developments. If the DPP wins the presidential election in 2016 and confrontation follows, that means political and economic disaster.
Take the 1992 consensus. If the DPP refuses to recognize the 1992 consensus, logically speaking it is unlikely to win in 2016. Conversely, if the DPP refuses to accept the 1992 consensus, but wins anyway, that will spell political and economic disaster for Taiwan. The Second Huashan Conference says the 1992 consensus is synonymous with opposition to Taiwan independence. Therefore the DPP can not accept the 1992 consensus. But if the DPP considers opposition to the 1992 consensus synonymous with a demand for Taiwan independence, how can Beijing possibly accept it? Therefore if the DPP wins in 2016, Taipei and Beijing could find themselves in heated controversy over whether to accept the 1992 consensus and oppose Taiwan independence. Taiwan would be destabilized, politically and economically.
Take the peace agreement. The KMT and CCP could choose to sign a peace agreement. The timing may be better when the KMT is in the opposition. If the Kuomintang is in office, before 2016 or after, a party to party, KMT to CCP peace agreement will be impossible. Any agreement would have to be a government to government. Any agreement that is not government to government, would never be signed. If however, the KMT loses in 2016, it may wish to establish a framework by which it can compete against the DPP. Any KMT to CCP peace agreement would surely be signed. But it would make the political and economic situation on Taiwan even more stable.
Imagine two moving lines crossing each other. Suppose the Democratic Progressive Party wins office but still refuses to recognize the 1992 consensus? Suppose it persists in advocating Taiwan independence? Beijing will insist that without the 1992 consensus, there can be no peaceful development. Taiwan would then descend into political and economic chaos. If the KMT loses power, it might sign a party to party peace agreement with the CCP. But this would increase the political and economic pressure on Taiwan.
The ruling DPP would be caught in a dilemma. Should it recognize the 1992 Consensus, i.e., forsake Taiwan independence, or not? The opposition Kuomintang could win support by signing a KMT to CCP peace agreement. But Taiwan would be divided. Relations between Taipei and Beijng would be upset. An unimagineable political and economic catastrophe would follow.
Therefore the KMT and CCP should not sign a party to party peace agreement. Why not? Because such a peace agreement could only be signed while the KMT is in the opposition. Whether the KMT is in the opposition is not the critical issue. The critical issue is whether the DPP is in office, but still opposes the 1992 Consensus, i.e., still advocates Taiwan independence. If the KMT signs a peace agreement, Taiwan will be plunged into political and economic chaos. The DPP will find it impossible to govern.
Before one can talk about a peace agreement, one must first understand what a peace agreement is. A peace agreement is an interim solution. It points the way to potential future reunification. It is not in itself reunification. It is political relations under circumstances in whch the two sides have yet to be reunified. It moderates the pace and limits the extent of reunification. For both Taipei and Beijing, a peace agreement is not reunification. It may even delay reunification. One might even say that if Taiwan wants to delay reunification, it must seize the initiative and sign a peace agreement beneficial to Taiwan.
Of course the 1992 consensus opposes Taiwan independence. But besides opposing Taiwan independence, it affirms the one China framework and one China, different interpretations. Taiwan independence is already impossible. Therefore when signing a peace agreement, we must be creative. We must seek to define and interpret the one China framework. We must be innovative and seek breakthroughs. This is not merely in Taiwan's interests. This is also in the interests of the common civilization shared by both sides of the Strait.
For Taiwan, an interim solution such as a peace agreement is both natural and inevitable. Taiwan must go with the flow. It must take advantage of the trend. Both the KMT and DPP should champion the 1992 consensus, the one China framework, one China, different interpretations, and the Big Roof Concept of China. Both should champion an equitable government to government peace agreement. It would stabilize political relations under circumstances in which the nation has yet to be reunified. It would enable the two sides to continue to benefit from peaceful development.
As we can all see, the problem lies with the DPP. Will the DPP refuse to recognize even the 1992 consensus? Will it oppose Taiwan independence and support one China, different interpretations? Will it refuse to sign a peace agreement? Suppose the DPP wins in 2016, but still opposes the 1992 consensus? Suppose the KMT signs a party to party peace agreement? That would surely tear Taiwan in two and lead to chaos. That would allow Beijing to take advantage of both the Blue and Green camps. That would lead to political and economic catastrophe.
Taipei and Beijing are about to enter a phase in which no peace agreement equals no peaceful development. Therefore, to put it bluntly, if the DPP refuses to recognize the 1992 consensus, it will be unqualified to return to power. If it does return to power under such conditions, it will only destroy Taiwan.
2013.08.13 03:00 am