Monday, May 4, 2015

Chu/Xi Meeting: No Way Around the Republic of China

Chu/Xi Meeting: No Way Around the Republic of China
United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
A Translation
May 5, 2015

Executive Summary: The current Chu/Xi meeting is mainly a KMT/CCP exchange. But it establishes a tripartisan KMT/CCP/DPP interactive framework for 2016. The DPP has yet to participate. But this will also affect its future role.

Full Text Below:

The current Chu/Xi meeting is mainly a KMT/CCP exchange. But it establishes a tripartisan KMT/CCP/DPP interactive framework for 2016. The DPP has yet to participate. But this will also affect its future role.

This meeting underscores three main points. One. It affirms the 1992 consensus, and opposition to Taiwan independence as the shared premise for cross-Strait relations. Two. Under the premise of "expanding Taiwan's international space", Beijing is willing to find ways for Taiwan to participate in the RCEP, AIIB, and One Belt, One Road. This is an extension of the KMT's "from China to the world" policy. Three. The KMT and CCP have emphasized social equity and justice for the next generation as sound reasons for cross-Strait exchanges, and appropriate responses to internal objections.

Three synergies may ensue. One. Cross-Strait policy remains stalled at the level of the 1992 consensus. This may affect the immediate situation. But failure to go beyond the 1992 Consensus could lead to regret. Two. Regional economic co-operation as a bargaining chip significantly increases pressure on the DPP. Will the DPP reform its cross-Strait policy in the event it returns to power? That remains to be seen. Therefore the damage it suffers could be serious.

First consider the impact of the meeting on the DPP. The DPP can find little to criticize in the KMT/CCP meeting. The most Tsai Ing-wen could say was that "Cross-Strait relations must not be a KMT/CCP monopoly." Ironically, this is the biggest danger for the DPP.

In 2005, under the 1992 consensus, the Lien/Hu meeting established a cross-strait policy framework. That could be characterized as the KMT and CCP monopolizing cross-Strait relations. But since 2008, the Ma government has been in power. Based on the 1992 consensus, it has signed 21 cross-strait agreements. These represent national policy. They cannot be characterized as monopolization of cross-Strait relations by the KMT and CCP. Besides, the 1992 consensus is nothing less than a Taipei/Washington/Beijing consensus.

Between 2005 and 2008, the DPP forfeited responsibility. The political climate on Taiwan and cross-Strait relations objectives, were indeed the result of the monopolization of cross-Strait relations by the KMT and CCP. Eventually, in 2008, the DPP government's failures in cross-Strait policy forced it to step down. Therefore, Tsai Ing-wen's charges of KMT/CCP monopolization of cross-Strait relations are meaningless. So-called monopolization of cross-Strait policy by the KMT and CCP was consistent with the currents of history. It eventually became national policy. If Tsai Ing-wen returns to power, she cannot repeal the 21 agreements signed by the KMT and CCP.

Tsai Ing-wen, beware! If your party returns to power, do not repeat the Chen regime's cross-strait policy failures, which forced the KMT and the CCP to hold a Lien/Hu meeting and take charge of cross-Strait policy. Zhang Zhijun said "KMT/CCP forums must continue, they must be both more frequent and better". The implication was that if the mountain would not come to Mohammed, then Mohammed would go to the mountain. If the DPP refuses to reform its cross-Strait policy, but instead denounces cross-Strait relations as a KMT/CCP monopoly, then the CCP will have to wait until the DPP steps down. If that happens, the damage inflicted upon Taiwan will be unimaginable.

Eric Chu has asked why there is no relationship between the DPP and the CCP. If the DPP insists that there is no relationship between the DPP and CCP, then it is behaving like an ostrich with its head in the sand. Even if it returns to power, it must still deal with cross-Strait policy formulated by the KMT and CCP. This newspaper has repeatedly warned the DPP about winning the election campaign only to lose the policy path.

Consider the bottlenecks encountered during the current meeting, and how to break through them. Chu and Xi openly referred to the 1992 consensus. Eric Chu told Xi Jinping, to his face, that the 1992 consensus means that "The two sides of the Strait both belong to one China, but the content and definition differ”. He did not use the expression “one China, different interpretations”. This was the first time a KMT Chairman made such a statement in front of a CCP General Secretary. Eric Chu did not use the term "one China, different interpretations" out of restraint. But for him to make such a statement, face to face, may be regarded as a breakthrough.

One China, different interpretations is a solution to the problem of the Republic of China's status under “one China". In fact, for the past twenty years or so, Beijing has hoped that Taiwan would defend the ROC and the ROC Constitution. Unfortunately Beijing has been too restrictive about the "one China" definition, and too cavalier about de-legitimizing the Republic of China. It even argued that the "Republic of China has already been destroyed." This self-contradictory policy on cross-Strait relations has made any breakthrough on cross-Strait relations difficult.

The two sides must realize that if the “Republic of China” loses its foothold on Taiwan, "China" is even less likely to gain a foothold on Taiwan. Eric Chu referred to "one China different interpretations” in front of Xi Jinping. This proved that both sides know the Republic of China cannot be bypassed. Transcending the 1992 consensus however, is something we can look forward to. Also, if one China, different interpretations stands, the pressure on the DPP will be increased.

Xi Jinping said "all political parties on both sides of the Strait" must deal with issues pertaining to cross-Strait relations. He was clearly addressing the DPP. Ten years ago, during the Lien/Hu meeting, the two sides shared a vision, and made the Lien/Hu meeting a glorious event. Ten years later, the Chu/Xi meeting has arrived at a point of uncertainty. By contrast, it appears simple, low-keyed, even boring. But if it helps people realize there is no getting around the "Republic of China," then the two parties' efforts may yet yield fruit. If the DPP persists in believing that "There is no relationship between the DPP and the CCP", then even if it returns to power, cross-Strait relations will be DOA.

2015-05-05 01:25:48 聯合報      













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