Broad One China Framework: The Only Non-Two States Theory Framework
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
May 30, 2014
Summary: On the morning of the 27th, Shih Ming-teh announced his "Broad One China Framework." The Broad One China Framework is a symbol of innovative thinking in cross-Strait relations. In recent years, cross-Strait policy has been torn between reality and theory. The result has been massive and rapid change.
Full Text below:
On the morning of the 27th, Shih Ming-teh announced his "Broad One China Framework." Meanwhile, the Republic of China's first flag carrier, the "Natchan Rera," the world's largest and fastest ferry boat, left Taipei harbor for Pingtan, flying the red, white and blue national flag.
These two events are unrelated. But the Natchan Rera symbolizes the evolution on both sides of the Strait. The Broad One China Framework is a symbol of innovative thinking in cross-Strait relations. In recent years, cross-Strait policy has been torn between reality and theory. The result has been massive and rapid change.
The announcement of the Five Principles for Dealing with Cross-Strait Issues provoked cynicism among both pro-reunification and pro-independence forces. But mainstream elements within both the blue and green camps think this innovative framework was advanced in good faith. Their chief reservation was that Beijing might not agree to it. In other words, a positive response from Beijing is necessary before this framework can go forward.
Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang responded. He said that although the two sides of the Strait have yet to be reunified, both the Mainland and Taiwan belong to one China. The relationship between the two sides is not a state to state relationship. These facts have an unshakeable legal foundation. We hope that everyone on Taiwan is on board with the 1992 consensus, and opposed to Taiwan independence. We hope they will offer suggestions on how to maintain and promote cross-Strait relations.
Some say the State Council for Taiwan Affairs considers the Broad One China Framework beyond the pale, and has just repudiated it. But Ma Xiaoguang may have been reciting Beijing's pro forma response on cross-Strait policy. His response may not have been directed at the Broad One China Framework. When a reporter asked him whether the Broad One China Framework was consistent with the 1992 consensus and the One China Principle, Ma Xiaoguang did not reply.
The Five Principles are based on the primacy of the Republic of China. Therefore it is not an argument for Taiwan independence. Nothing suggests that the One China Principle cannot accommodate the Broad One China Framework. Therefore the Five Principles can be seen as an upgraded version of the 1992 consensus. Furthermore, it states that cross-Strait relations are not state to state relations. That means cross-Strait relations are not relations between foreign nations. That means the two sides of the Strait do no see each other as foreign nations. So why did Beijing react the way it did? Why was it afraid that the Five Principles might be another Two States Theory?
In fact, the three parties' current cross-Strait policies are already Two States Theories lacking in points of linkage. Under Beijing's One Country, Two Systems, the term "One Country" refers to the People's Republic of China. But the Republic of China is a reality. It exists. Beijing merely refuses to recognize it. This amounts to a Two States Theory. The Ma administration insists that "One China is the Republic of China." It champions "no reunification, no Taiwan independence, and no use of force." This can be considered another kind of Two States Theory. The DPP advocates "one country on each side." This is an even more clear-cut expression of the Two States Theory. Cross-Strait relations under these Two States Theories leads to a dog eat dog end game. They are an expression of the law of the jungle, and constitute a disaster for human civilization. They add another tragedy to the Chinese nation.
The Five Principles advocate divided rule under the Broad One China Framework. Under the Broad One China Framework, both the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China would be considered "incomplete international legal persons." This is how they are linked. The status quo is the Two States Theory. This status quo must be changed. The Republic of China and the People's Republic of China must be linked together and become part of China. They must become part of a Broad One China. In other words, the Broad One China Framework must not be viewed as a Two States Theory framework. It is the only framework that does not involve the law of the jungle, and require a dog eat dog outcome.
The Broad One China Framework stands apart from One Country, Two Systems, from One China, Different Interpretations, and from One Country on Each Side. One Country, Two Systems clings to the Republic of China, even as it refuses to recognize the Republic of China. This will not result in identification with China or build trust in the Mainland. It will only sow suspicion and hatred. One China, Different Interpretations is merely a delaying tactic. The final outcome will be a boiled frog. One Country on Each Side does not work, Of this there is no longer any doubt. Therefore the Broad One China Framework is where the other three frameworks overlap. It can be implemented gradually, starting out with Divided Rule, and gradually assume the form of the Broad One China Framework. Issues of international space can be gradually worked out at the two sides' discretion. Shih Ming-teh said the Five Principles were a "package deal" or "full course meal." But each dish must still be served separately. Each dish is still "a la carte."
This is the first time the private sector has proposed a cross-Strait policy that transcends blue vs. green partisanship. Does the public on Taiwan want to escape blue, green, and red bound cross-Strait policy? If so, it should take a hard look at this proposal. Otherwise, all it can look forward to is a dog eat dog outcome. Beijing in particular should take a hard look at this proposal. After all, the Broad One China Framework is also a One China Framework. How can we continue to view divided rule government as warring governments? Must cross-Strait relations remain dog eat dog relations?
One China becomes a Broad One China. Warring governments become divided rule governments. The cries of apes from the shores echo endlessly. The sampan has already crossed ten thousand mountains.
2014.05.30 04:00 am