Use Cross-Strait Consenus: Connect to World from Mainland
China Times editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
June 27, 2014
Summary: In the civilized world, people do not resort to brute force and
authority to allocate resources. People can work together to create more
resources. Over the past decade the United States has been mired in the
Middle East, Now it is eager to return to Asia. It finds itself in need
of a friend. The Mainland's "shi er wu" plan is critical to its goal of
establishing a prosperous society. It calls for further reform and
liberalization, for accelerating economc transformation during this
crucial period. International politics is ruthless. Taiwan has special
qualities that both sides need, including "integration" and
"connection." We need not sell ourselves short. But we must choose the
right path. Only then can we avoid falling and shattering ourselves into
a million pieces.
Full Text Below:
Zhang Zhijun, director of the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office, has led a delegation to Taiwan. During the Wang Zhang Meeting, a number of cross-Strait deadlocks were resolved. Humanitarian access has been included among the functions of the newly established cross-Strait offices. The Mainland has agreed to allow business communications regarding Mainland tourist transit and Taiwan's membership in the TPP and RCEP, as well as Taiwan's participation in regional economic integration. The Mainland's once evasive stance has changed. It responded positively during the meeting. The two sides agreed to begin joint research as soon as possible. They will hold pragmatic discussions about cross-Strait economic development. They will seek feasible and appropriate means to further regional economic cooperation and convergence.
Taiwan has a "shallow dish economy." Economic development is dependent upon international trade. If Taiwan is unable to join the TPP, RCEP, other regional economic organizations, as soon as possible, it will become isolated and experience a trade crisis. It will lose the international trade it is dependent upon. South Korea, our chief trade competitor, is signing FTAs with everyone and joining trade organizations everywhere. South Korea will acquire tariff and import advantages over Taiwan in the global market. Our markets will soon become theirs. Add competition from Vietnam, Malaysia, and Mexico. These TPP or RCEP countries are allied with each other. International trade no longer requires Taiwan. The result will be inevitable. Taiwan will be doomed. The Mainland has not fully committed to helping Taiwan join the TPP and RCEP. But Zhang Zhijun's commitment to Taiwan is a positive sign.
On the 24th of this month, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke before the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a Washingto think tank. Lee noted that whether Taiwan can join the TPP depends on Mainland China and other TPP members. Joining the TPP is not merely an economic matter. It is also a political matter. He thinks that Singapore and many other countries share an interest in a stable cross-Strait relations. They can help, But they are not mediators, Singapore has no desire to play the role that the United States plays between Israel and the Arab countries.
Therefore we must connect with the Mainland. Only then can we connect with the rest of the world. Upon becoming DPP Chairperson, Tsai Ing-wen argued that "The DPP wants to connect with the rest of the world first. Only then is it willing to connect with [Mainland] China." As we have pointed out, the KMT and DPP take very different paths toward globalization. The DPP would leapfrog over Mainland China. The KMT prefers to connect with Mainland China first. Connecting directly with the rest of the world would be fine if it were feasible. No one would oppose it. But the DPP strategy of bypassing the Mainland is clearly infeasible. Lee Hsien Loong said it very clearly. Unless Taiwan improves cross-Strait relations, it cannot increase its international breathing room. This is a clearly understood political reality.
Therefore, Taiwan must take advantage of the consensus reached during this meeting. It must use the TPP to connect with the rest of world -- through the Mainland. The trail has been blazed. KMT Honorary Chairperson Lien Chan and CCP Chairperson Hu Jintao reached the "Lien Hu Five Points of Agreement" in 2005. This will be the most important windfall from that meeting.
As everyone knows, mankind's chief conflicts during the 21st century are between Islam and Christianity, and between Chinese civilization and American civilization. The major world conflict is between Mainland China and the U.S. Taiwan seeks to survive in the space in between. Recently, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to Business Week. She warned that Taiwan is now at a turning point. Taiwan must decide how much it wishes to open up to the Chinese mainland. Once it loses its economic independence, it will lose its political independence and autonomy as well. She believes that If Taiwan becomes too dependent on Mainland China, it will become fragile. Therefore she called on Taiwan to decide how economically dependent wanted to be on Mainland China, to learn how to manage its relationship with Mainland China, and to find the line it must not cross. Hillary Clinton said that when it came to Washington-Taipei relations, the United States gave priority to Taiwan. Hillary Clinton said the key to the U.S. government's "one China policy" was peaceful coexistence between Taiwan and the Mainland. Her agenda is obvious. America believes in pragmatic diplomacy. Taiwan is located on the first island chain. It is the U.S. government's most important outpost in her containment policy against the Mainland. The United States seeks strategic benefits from its relationship with Taiwan.
Hillary's rhetoric should make Taiwan think. When Taiwan connects with the Mainland in order to connect with the rest of the world, how can it make the United States feel at ease? What can Taiwan give the United States? In 2002 Joe Studwell published "The China Dream: The Elusive Quest for the Greatest Untapped Market on Earth." Studwell put it bluntly. "China for us (Americans), is a cemetery. Everyone is bound to screw up in China." The Western world does not understand China. This lack of understanding is leading to greater and greater unease.
Taiwan shares the same culture as the Mainland. But it shares the same values as the United States. It has implemented a similar system as the United States. Taiwan is a fusion of Eastern and Western cultures. It is on the border between Chinese and Western systems.
The design of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone established a negative example. Xi and Li have been fighting corruption. They hope to shatter the unspoken rules of the past. Taiwan underwent a similar process. It can help the Mainland upgrade and transform, and become a truly civilized nation.
In the civilized world, people do not resort to brute force and authority to allocate resources. People can work together to create more resources. Over the past decade the United States has been mired in the Middle East, Now it is eager to return to Asia. It finds itself in need of a friend. The Mainland's "shi er wu" plan is critical to its goal of establishing a prosperous society. It calls for further reform and liberalization, for accelerating economc transformation during this crucial period. International politics is ruthless. Taiwan has special qualities that both sides need, including "integration" and "connection." We need not sell ourselves short. But we must choose the right path. Only then can we avoid falling and shattering ourselves into a million pieces.
聽過希拉蕊的論述，台灣要慎思，透過大陸走向國際時，要如何讓美國安心？台灣能給美國什麼利益？喬‧史塔威爾在2002年出版的《中國熱》（The China Dream）直言「中國對我們（美國人）來說就是墳場，大家在中國都註定會搞砸。」西方世界對中國不了解與不了解造成的不安，愈來愈強烈。