Our Shared Cross-Strait Destiny
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
May 21, 2014
Summary: Taiwan can take advantage of the rise of Mainland China to further
strengthen itself. But Chinese people on both sides of the Strait must
stand together. We urge the government and the people of Taiwan to view
the matter from a higher, more strategic level. We consider ourselves
modern, civilized, rational Chinese. We have confidence in the soft
power of Taiwan. Our attitude should be neither self-abnegating nor
self-aggrandizing. Education and examinations can transform society,
enlighten the public, and encourage identification with Chinese
civilization. As proud Chinese people, both sides can participate in the
process of modernization. This is the way to resolve cross-Strait
Full Text Below:
The maritime clash between China and Vietnam has led to irrational protests by the Vietnamese people. Anti-Chinese activities have negatively impacted many Taiwan businesses. They have caused serious damage to property, and pose serious threats to personal security. The government has taken measures to safeguard the rights and interests of Taiwan businessmen. The media has predictably criticized the decisions of the government and the actions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mostly the media was being too perfectionistic. Vietnam's anti-Chinese behavior is outrageous. The two sides of the Strait have different regimes. But both belong to one China, They are both Chinese. This fundamental truth must not be muddied. This is the key to the problem. The strategic situation in East Asia is increasingly complex. Relations between Mainland China and other countries may be good and bad. Either way, Taiwan will find it hard to avoid the consequences.
A few simple facts can explain a seemingly complex matter. Mainland China, Japan, and Taiwan have a dispute over the Diaoyutai Islands. The Mainland has proposed that the two sides jointly safeguard sovereignty over the islands. President Ma however, has proposed an "East China Sea Peace Initiative," which refuses cooperation with the Chinese mainland. Japan is attempting to prevent cross-Strait cooperation. It hastily signed a fisheries agreements with us. With reference to the South China Sea disputes, Mainland China has proposed a "South China Sea Code of Conduct." The countries involved have agreed to it. But Taiwan has not been able to take part in any meetings. The United States is attempting to coerce us into taking back our declaration regarding the "nine segment line." It is attempting to undermine the legitimacy of Mainland claims. Taiwan and Vietnam could clash militarily over Taiping Island. In a worst case scenario, Support or even rescue by the Mainland may be needed. How would we deal with such a headache then?
On the 9th of this month, this newspaper published an editorial entitled "Let the Republic of China become a Force for Cohesion." We appealed to the ruling and opposition parties and the nation to unite in the face of myriad challenges. Today we propose that Chinese people on both sides of the Strait join hands and acknowledge our common cross-Strait destiny. The first editorial addressed matters relating to systems and values. The second editorial addresses national sentiments and long-term cross-Strait relations. Our proposal is reasonable, necessary, and forward-looking. It also addresses matters of strategic vision and tactical methods. The two sides may wish to consider our proposal. What exactly should Mainland China and Taiwan do? Can the two sides work together and adopt the proper measures? Let this proposal come to fruition as soon as possible.
First, according to the constitution Ma Ying-jeou is president of the Republic of China. Therefore he should act in accordance with the constitution and promote national unity. The KMT's "no reunification, no Taiwan independence, no use of force" stance is merely a cheap and expedient means of maintaining the status quo. As Chen Chang-wen said, merely opposing Taiwan independence cannot inspire devotion. It cannot sustain public morale. President Ma says he considers Taiwan the heir to Chinese civilization. He considers the existence of the Republic of China an asset that can ensure China's prosperity and future. Therefore President Ma should restore the Guidelines for National Unification, and the National Unification Council. He should even reiterate his support for "Reunify China under the Three Peoples Principles." President Ma may even wish to follow the example of Chiang Ching-kuo, when Chiang declared that he was both Chinese and Taiwanese, or Taiwanese and Chinese. This would have an enlightening and reformative effect.
The public on Taiwan has undergone changes in its sense of national identity. This is only natural, given the passage of time. But politicians, especially Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian manipulated and artificially accelerated this alienation. Objectively speaking, Taiwan must learn to live in peace with the Mainland. The DPP must jettison its fear of Communism and Sinophobia. It must abandon its separatist ideas. It must learn to distinguish between a regime, a nation, and a people. Reunification need not be a problem. We merely need to stipulate the timing and conditions for reunification. Taiwan must insist on certain values. It must reject an unreasonable system. It cannot accept unreasonable conditions. What it must pursue is a win/win competition that leads to integration and reunification. We hope the DPP will recognize this. China is something that Chinese compatriots on both sides hold in common. The people of Taiwan have the right and responsibility to express their opinion about the future of China. The DPP must stop depriving future generations the opportunity to prosper on Mainland China.
Consider the matter from the perspective of Mainland China and the two sides. How specifically does one create a common destiny for both sides of the Strait? One can of course begin by reducing negative rhetoric. Make fewer negative statements. First put one's own house in order. Plan for the long term instead of seeking short term expediency. On issues of concern to people on both sides, make reasonable arrangements with concrete commitments. Continue promoting peaceful development and cross-Strait friendship.
The Mainland may wish to consider establishing cross-Strait economic zones and plans, explaining the substantive benefits of reunification. Various provinces could establish sister cities and sister counties relationships with various regions of Taiwan. They could promote cross-Strait cultural and educational agreements as soon as possible. This would increase identification with Chinese civilization and pride in Chinese identity among the public on Taiwan.
Taiwan can take advantage of the rise of Mainland China to further strengthen itself. But Chinese people on both sides of the Strait must stand together. We urge the government and the people of Taiwan to view the matter from a higher, more strategic level. We consider ourselves modern, civilized, rational Chinese. We have confidence in the soft power of Taiwan. Our attitude should be neither self-abnegating nor self-aggrandizing. Education and examinations can transform society, enlighten the public, and encourage identification with Chinese civilization. As proud Chinese people, both sides can participate in the process of modernization. This is the way to resolve cross-Strait issues.
http://www.cdnews.com.tw 2014-05-21 08:49:41