Cross-Strait Confrontation: Cui Bono?
China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
February 24, 2015
Executive Summary: The DPP scored a major victory during the nine in one elections. Since
then it has become ever more bold. Its stance on the 1992 consensus and
the Taiwan independence party platform has hardened. Su Chi is a former
Secretary-General of the National Security Council, and Chairman of the
Taiwan Forum. Su recently issued a warning. He said that if the
cross-Strait policy of the DPP presidential candidate are perceived as
undermining stability in the Taiwan Strait, and as moving toward Taiwan
independence, Xi Jinping will take preemptive action, and Taiwan will
Full Text Below:
We have three questions on cross-Strait relations. What precisely are cross-Strait relations? Will the Chinese mainland allow the DPP to lead Taiwan towards independence? Whom will cross-Strait confrontation ultimately benefit?
Should we seek Taiwan independence?
The DPP scored a major victory during the nine in one elections. Since then it has become ever more bold. Its stance on the 1992 consensus and the Taiwan independence party platform has hardened. Su Chi is a former Secretary-General of the National Security Council, and Chairman of the Taiwan Forum. Su recently issued a warning. He said that if the cross-Strait policy of the DPP presidential candidate are perceived as undermining stability in the Taiwan Strait, and as moving toward Taiwan independence, Xi Jinping will take preemptive action, and Taiwan will “feel him”.
Su's outspoken observations drew Green Camp fire. Some on the Internet accused Su of helping the CCP to intimidate Taiwan with words and weapons. Were Su'
s observations intimidation, or prophecy? Or were they bitter medicine and wise counsel? One need not and should not accuse Su of ulterior motives. One should instead return to the key point. Was Su telling the truth?
Does one understand the public mood on the Mainland? Does one understand CCP leadership style and decision-making? Does one understand Xi Jinping? If one does, one will realize that Su was not intimidating Taiwan. The DPP accused Su of "selling out Taiwan". Instead, it should be honest and answer the question in the heart of everyone on Taiwan. What are Tsai Ing-wen's plans? Tsai Ing-wen once referred to Taiwan independence as a "natural ingredient". During the DPP All Party Conference she prevented others from freezing the Taiwan independence party platform. Does Tsai Ing-wen intend to make Taiwan independence part of her bid for the presidency?
If she does, she must honestly tell the people what consequences Taiwan independence will bring. She must not equivocate. If the people are willing to accept the consequences of Taiwan independence, if they are not misled, if they make the choice freely, then everyone will bear the consequences of Taiwan independence together.
If Tsai does not, then we must ask, why not? What are you afraid of? You must also honestly tell the people precisely where you stand. If Tsai is afraid to do so, that proves Su Chi was right. Taiwan independence is not a free promotional cold drink offered during a long, hot summer. A price must be paid, one that as Su Chi noted, the Taiwan people will “feel”.
Two Anti-Mainland Lies
We at this newspaper, oppose Taiwan independence. We oppose Taiwan independence deception and anti-mainland demagoguery even more. Over the years, Taiwan independence advocates have disseminated ambiguous Taiwan independence half-truths. Internally, they have hijacked the DPP. As a result, the DPP has spun its wheels on cross-Strait policy. It has been unable to reform itself. It has been unable to freeze the Taiwan independence party platform. Even Frank Hsieh's open and moderate “constitutional one China” cross-Strait initiative has been aborted in this political atmosphere.
Externally, it continues to spread populist hatred and fear of Mainland China. This sort of populist demagoguery was apparent in the Sunflower Student Movement and contributed to the DPP victory in the nine in one elections.
It has enabled it to create a political atmosphere and celebrate an election victory. It has even enabled the DPP to revel in a premature 2016 victory celebration. It is now confident that even if the two sides remain at loggerheads, the DPP will still win the election.
Worse still are anti-Mainland policy claims, which involve two lies. Lie One: CCP threats are all bark and no bite. The CCP only dares to sound off. It dares not take action. Lie Two: The United States has the Taiwan independence movement's back. If anything happens in the Taiwan Strait, the US will ride to the rescue. These lies reinforce each other. Lie Two increases confidence in Lie One.
Take Lie Two. In late 2003, one US poll indicated that 74% of all Americans opposed US aid to Taiwan in the event the Chinese Communists invade Taiwan. It is not difficult to understand the mood of the American people. Also, the poll was conducted in 2003. Today, 12 years later, Mainland China is many times stronger. Today, any Sino-US military confrontation would exact a far higher price on the US than in 2003. The US-China relationship is coopetition. But in fact cooperation greatly outweighs competition. Economically the two sides may experience friction, but at a deeper level, they are interdependent. On global strategy, including the Korean Peninsula, in Russia and Ukraine, the Islamic State, and other global threats, the United States needs a strategic partnership with the Chinese mainland. Therefore the likelihood of the United States sending troops to Taiwan to defend against the Chinese mainland is zero. How can any responsible political party bet Taiwan's safety on such overwhelming odds?
Opposition to Mainland China traps one in a cycle of hate
Are Chinese Communist Party military threats empty bluffs? That depends on how far the Green Camp goes with its anti-Mainland antics. Unless necessary, no one wants to resort to force. That merely leads to a worst case scenario, in which both parties are wounded. But anti-Mainland antics had better not involve Taiwan independence, or collide head on with the CCP's national goals, or challenge the legitimacy of Chinese Communist Party rule. If they do, the question will not be whether the CCP resorts to force, but whether CCP leaders can justify not using force before the Mainland public. If outward directed Taiwan independence antics continue to escalate, the CCP may not immediately resort to force. But they will lead step by step toward a vicious cycle of cross-Strait hostility. Eventually the foundation for cross-Strait exchanges will be destroyed. Escalating cross-Strait conflict may extend to diplomatic, economic and social exchanges at all levels. Taiwan's international space will be further limited. Can Taiwan's fragile economy withstand such shocks? Can we withstand such attacks? If the DPP persists in its opposition to Mainland China, who exactly will benefit? They know the answer to that question without asking.
Is the DPP unwilling to help Taiwan in a responsible manner? If so, the people of Taiwan must think for themselves. An anti-Mainland posture is infeasible. Both sides want peace. Only peace enables cooperation. Only cooperation enables win/win. This is our sincere recommendation to the DPP and all the people of the nation.
This newspaper has consistently said that "genuine rationality means genuine lover for Taiwan". Genuine rationality is the method. Genuine love for Taiwan is the goal. The antonym of "genuine" is "fake". Genuine love for Taiwan has nothing to do with the hollow slogan, "love for Taiwan". Everyone knows how to shout “love for Taiwan”. But genuine love for Taiwan will not harm Taiwan. Instead it will enable the people of Taiwan to enjoy peace and happiness, and a chance to live the good life. Genuine love requires an objective test that determines whether politicians genuinely love Taiwan. That is "genuine rationality". Rhetoric must be backed by reality. It must with stand the acid test. Speak the truth. Do not deceive yourself. Do not deceive the people. Do not deceive Taiwan.