Expedite the Cross-Strait Agreement: DPP Do Not Cocoon Yourself
United Daily News editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
September 2, 2014
Summary: The heads of the two cross-Strait associations, Lin Join-sane and Chen
Deming, met in Huai An. They did not mention the Chang Hsien-yao
incident in public. They did however issue a joint declaration, saying
that cross-Strait relations "will not be affected by minor problems."
The two sides also agreed to "accelerate the cross-Strait negotation
process." Lin Join-sane said, "Cross-Strait relations will not be
affected by minor ripples." Chen Deming said, "I see no storm, I feel
only the radiance of the sun."
Full Text Below:
The heads of the two cross-Strait associations, Lin Join-sane and Chen Deming, met in Huai An. They did not mention the Chang Hsien-yao incident in public. They did however issue a joint declaration, saying that cross-Strait relations "will not be affected by minor problems." The two sides also agreed to "accelerate the cross-Strait negotation process." Lin Join-sane said, "Cross-Strait relations will not be affected by minor ripples." Chen Deming said, "I see no storm, I feel only the radiance of the sun."
Regarding the "acceleration of the cross-Strait agreement process," MTA talks will resume on the 10th of this month in Taipei. The two cross-Strait associations will hold their 11th round of high-level talks at the end of the year or next spring. They may sign six agreements in one fell swoop, including agreements pertaining to the MTA, dispute settlement, avoidance of double taxation, the establishment of offices on both sides, environmental protection, aviation safety, and standards for airworthiness.
The two associations' declaration showed that the Sunflower Student Movement and Chang Hsien-yao incident failed to disrupt the two sides' agenda. In other words, the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations and STA may be stuck in the Legislative Yuan. But the two associations have decided to sign six agreements which were largely settled under the current legal system. They will then send the STA to the Legislative Yuan for review.
This being the case, the cross-Strait bills and other agreements stalled in the Legislative Yuan can still proceed, minimizing the delay. We think this is a legitimate solution. But the ball is now back in the Legislature's court, i.e., in the DPP and Tsai Ing-wen's court. The DPP is determined to "refuse to legislative, refuse to review." Tsai Ing-wen therefore faces a dilemma.
One. The Chang incident failed to derail cross-Strait negotiations. As a result, the DPP lost its political leverage. Two. The STA, plus six other agreements, add up to seven agreements. If all seven agreements are sent to the Legislative Yuan and wind up awaiting review during 2015, an election year, the internal and external pressures on the DPP will be increased commensurately. Three. Consider the impact on the DPP. Suppose the 1992 consensus, plus the Taiwan independence party platform, plus seven stalled cross-Strait agreements become the big issue during the 2016 presidential election? The impact on the election will be even more unpredictable. Faced with such a development, the DPP can no longer cocoon itself.
When the Chang incident erupted, this newspaper called on the blue, green and red camps to work together to salvage cross-Strait relations. We said Beijing must not stand on the sidelines, the DPP must not take advantage of the situation, and the Ma government must remedy the situation. The two sides say they "will not be affected by minor problems" and have agreed to "accelerate cross-Strait negotiations." How then will the DPP will respond to this new situation? Tsai Ing-wen knows that given the global situation and cross-Strait relations, DPP obstruction of cross-Strait agreements will marginalize Taiwan both politically and economically. Taiwan's survival strategy requires globalization. DPP obstruction will marginalize the DPP in the cross-Straits power game. A marginalized DPP will find it hard to win the 2016 presidential election. Even if it does win, it will find it hard to govern. Therefore Tsai Ing-wen must not imagine she can get away with blind obstructionism. The one she will be obstructing will be herself.
For example, Tsai Ing-wen posed "Ten Questions for the Ma Administration." Her questions pertained to a stifled economy, scarce job opportunities, declining wages, exorbitant real estate prices, being left behind by South Korea, and why Taiwan long ago ceased being an "Asian Tiger." But these all come back to the same question. Whither Taiwan's economy? Tsai Ing-wen must ask herself whether she intends oppose the 1992 Consensus, champion the Taiwan independence party platform, and obstruct the seven pending cross-Strait agreements? Does she imagine she can win the 2016 presidential election this way? Suppose people ask a Tsai government the same ten questions? How will Tsai answer?
Take just one example. Tsai Ing-wen asked why Taiwan has been left behind by Korea. The reasons are varied. But Tsai Ing-wen knows South Korea will sign a PRC-ROK FTA by the end of the year. This will give Korea a major boost in the Mainland market. Yet the DPP suicidally persists in obstructing the STA. And Tsai Ing-wen has the temerity to ask why Taiwan has been left behind by South Korea. One has to wonder whether she is being ironic?
Taiwan's political and economic challenges require global solutions. But politically or economically, Taiwan cannot achieve what the DPP advocates, "globalization without [Mainland] China." Nor can it connect with [Mainland] China through the world. Taiwan faces an "FTA cliff." Tsai must find a way to connect with the world through [Mainland] China. Otherwise the DPP will find itself excluded from the cross-Strait power game. The DPP's plan is to protest these agreements today, in the hope that if they are subsequently passed, the DPP can "unconditionally accept" them when it returns to power tomorrow.
We urge the Ma government to conclude all six agreements, then together with the STA, send all seven cases to the Legislative Yuan for review. Each and every one of these agreements is conducive to peaceful development. Should the DPP help pass the "Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations" to control subsequent agreements? Should it cling to its "refuse to legislate, refuse to review" stance? Should it leave the seven pending cross-Strait agreements, the Taiwan independence party platform, and the 1992 consensus for the public to pass judgment on during the 2016 presidential election? The DPP must exercise discretion. Only it can decide whether to cocoon itself or wriggle free from its self-made quagmire.
2014.09.02 01:59 am