China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
August 5, 2015
Executive Summary: On August 3rd, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je told the Xinhua News Agency and other Mainland media organizations that the 1992 Consensus is the basis for cross-Strait peace. He said he "understood and respected" this. He characterized exchanges between Taipei and Shanghai as "cross-Strait exchanges". The Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office immediately affirmed Ko Wen-je's latest statement. We look forward to Mayor Ko Wen-je's attendance at the Twin Cities Forum in Shanghai, and continued exchanges between the two cities.
Full Text Below:
On August 3rd, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je told the Xinhua News Agency and other Mainland media organizations that the 1992 Consensus is the basis for cross-Strait peace. He said he "understood and respected" this. He characterized exchanges between Taipei and Shanghai as "cross-Strait exchanges". The Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office immediately affirmed Ko Wen-je's latest statement. We look forward to Mayor Ko Wen-je's attendance at the Twin Cities Forum in Shanghai, and continued exchanges between the two cities.
Ko Wen-je refers to himself as a "deep green". But when he became Taipei Mayor, he fully understood the importance of cross-Strait exchanges. Politicians must demonstrate flexibility and wisdom. Cross-Strait relations require humility. The Mainland insists on the 1992 Consensus. Ko Wen-je went from suspicion and denial, to understanding and respect, eventually overcoming his difficulties. The Mainland also demonstrated flexibility and wisdom when conftonted with a deep green mayor. This enabled the Mainland to focus on the 1992 Consensus, while Ko Wen-je focused on his New Perspectives for 2015.
During the Taipei mayoral election, Ko Wen-je said he had no idea what the 1992 Consensus was all about. He ridicule it. He said, "There is no consensus among us called the 1992 Consensus".He said the 1992 Consensus was outdated. He wondered why anyone would continue clinging to it? He said the two sides should renegotiate and seek a new consensus based on current circumstances.
Not only did Ko repudiate the 1992 Consensus, upon his election as Taipei Mayor, he told reporters that the normalization of cross-Strait relations needed no concessions. He considered Chinese affairs to be "foreign affairs". He said China has the same rights and obligations as the United States. Chinese students on Taiwan should enjoy the same rights to health insurance as American students. Ko Wen-je saw Mainland students as foreign students. He implied that cross-Strait relations were foreign relations. He criticized the Mainland's "one country, two systems", saying it should be changed to "two countries, one system". His offhand remarks nearly led to the cancellation of this year's Twin Cities Forum. They nearly ended interaction between Taipei and the Mainland.
Fortunately, Ko Wen-je soon changed his tune. On March 30, before Mainland reporters, Ko announced his "New Perspectives for 2015" on cross-Strait relations. He expressed a willingness to honor past cross-Strait interactions and past agreements. He said that based on existing political foundations, and "mutual recognition, mutual understanding, mutual respect, and mutual cooperation", he would consider "the two sides of the Strait as one family". He would promote exchanges and increase goodwill, enabling people on both sides of the Strait to seek a better future. Ko Wen-je even added that no one today imagines there are two Chinas, and said that "one China" is not a problem. He did not explicitly mention the 1992 Consensus. But he did say that "one China is not a problem", that "the two sides of the Strait are one family", and he did affirm "existing political foundations". These remarks were well received by the Mainland. The future of Taipei-Mainland relations looked bright. But the foundation requires strengthening. Last week, during a meeting with Deputy Mayor of Shanghai Ong Tie-hui, a Ko staffer mistakenly referred to the host as an "international affairs group", raising Mainland eyebrows.
Ko Wen-je quickly managed the crisis. He told Mainland reporters that Mainland affairs are not international affairs. He said the Taipei City Government Secretariat has established a "Mainland Group" dedicated to mainland affairs. He said "It has also established an International Affairs Group dedicated to foreign affairs." He said, "We understand the difference between the two, and we will deal with it appropriately". The implication was that he did not see the Mainland as a foreign nation, and did not see cross-Strait relations as relations between two different countries. He added that the Mainland advocated the 1992 Consensus as the basis for cross-Strait peace. He said he understood and respected their position.
In interactions with the Mainland, Ko Wen-je has adopted a pragmatic position. He initially said he had no idea what the 1992 Consensus was about. He said the 1992 Consensus was outdated. He said he regarded China as a foreign country. But Ko eventually changed his tune. He said one China is not a problem. He said he respected the existing cross-Strait political foundation. He said he understood and respected the 1992 Consensus as the basis for cross-Strait peace. He said he understood the difference between mainland affairs and foreign affairs. He gradually mended relations with the Mainland, He ensured that the Twin Cities Forum would continue. He ensured that the Mainland and Taipei would "maintain the status quo". On cross-Strait relations Ko Wen-je has demonstrated a pragmatic and flexible attitude. He has maintained good relations with the Mainland. His actions merit recognition. Tsai Ing-wen, who remains mired in cross-Strait issues, could learn a lesson from him.
Tsai says she advocates "maintaining the status quo". She says she advocates upholding the current ROC constitutional framework. She says she advocates the continuation of a stable cross-Strait peace. But precisely what status quo does she hope to maintain? On what basis? She has been deliberately vague. As a result, she has not gained the public trust. CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered two speeches on the Mainland this year. In them he made clear that "The 1992 Consensus is the basis for cross-strait political trust, dialogue, and consultations. It has played an irreplaceable role in the improvement of cross-Strait relations. We have long upheld the 1992 Consensus as the foundation and precondition for exchanges with the Taiwan authorities and political parties". If Tsai Ing-wen seeks to maintain the status quo, she has no way around the 1992 Consensus. So what will she do? Ko Wen-je has adopted a pragmatic and flexible approach. This has enabled him and the other side to each stand pat. In fact, Ko has provided Tsai Ing-wen with a beacon. Now the only question is whether Tsai Ing-wen has Ko Wen-je's wisdom.
對九二共識是兩岸關係和平發展的基礎，表示「瞭解和尊重」， 並把台北與上海的交流定義為「兩岸交流」。柯文哲的最新表態， 立即獲得大陸國台辦正面的回應，我們可以樂觀期待， 柯文哲將以市長身分前往上海出席雙城論壇，延續兩市的交流關係。
充分理解兩岸交流的重要，展現了政治人物應有的彈性與智慧， 兩岸關係這門功課也願意謙虛學習，面對大陸堅持的九二共識， 柯文哲從質疑否定，再到瞭解和尊重，終於一步步克服了困難。 大陸面對台灣「墨綠」市長，也展現了彈性與智慧， 營造出與柯文哲在九二共識與一五新觀點間各說各話的空間。
的實質內容，甚至嘲諷「我們之間沒有共識，叫作『九二共識』」。 他質疑九二共識已經不合時宜，如今仍然死守，到底意義多大？ 兩岸應該重新談判，在現行狀況下尋求新的共識。
兩岸關係正常化不需讓利，他對中國事務的處理原則是「 把中國當做外國」，美國有的權利義務，中國也應有。 所以中生納保議題，凡是美國學生在台灣享有的平等權益，「 中國也要有」。柯文哲把陸生視同外籍生， 把兩岸關係暗喻為兩國關係，接著又加碼批評大陸主張的「 一國兩制」，認為應改為「兩國一制」。 即興式發言已讓今年的雙城論壇瀕臨觸礁， 台北市與大陸的交流互動難以維持。
提出兩岸關係「一五新觀點」， 表示願尊重兩岸過去已經簽署的協議和互動歷史， 並在既有的政治基礎上，以「互相認識、互相瞭解、互相尊重、 互相合作」的原則，秉持「兩岸一家親」的精神，促進交流、 增加善意，讓兩岸人民去追求更美好的共同未來。柯文哲還說， 當今世界上並沒有人認為有兩個中國，「一個中國」不是問題。 雖然九二共識沒說出口，但「一個中國不是問題」、「兩岸一家親」 及「既有的政治基礎上」的說法，獲得大陸的肯定， 台北市與大陸的互動維持現狀露出曙光，但基石還不夠堅固。 因而上周在會見上海副市長翁鐵慧時， 幕僚無心疏忽將接待單位誤植為「國際事務組」， 卻引起大陸的疑慮。
大陸事務不是國際事務。他說，北市府祕書處下設立了「大陸小組」 專門辦理大陸事務，「另外設有國際事務小組處理外國事務」。 他說，「我們了解兩者的不同，在這方面會處理得很好」。 言下之意，他不把大陸當外國，兩岸不是國與國的關係。他並表示， 大陸方面提出「九二共識」是兩岸關係和平發展的基礎， 他對這一立場表示瞭解和尊重。
從不知九二共識、九二共識不合時宜、把中國當外國， 到一個中國不是問題、尊重既有政治基礎、兩岸一家親， 再到瞭解和尊重「九二共識」作為兩岸關係和平發展的基礎、 了解大陸事務和外國事務的不同，逐步盤活和大陸的關係， 使雙城論壇確定得以持續辦，台北市和大陸的互動交流得以「 維持現狀」。 柯文哲在兩岸觀點及與大陸維持良性互動上展現的務實靈活， 平實而論是值得肯定， 也值得在兩岸議題上仍陷於泥淖的蔡英文學習。
持續推動兩岸關係的和平穩定發展，但她要維持的是那種現狀？ 以及靠什麼來維持？一直語焉不詳，以致無法取信於人。 中共總書記習近平在今年大陸兩會上講的很清楚，「 九二共識對兩岸建立政治互信、開展對話協商、 改善和發展兩岸關係，發揮了不可替代的重要作用。 我們始終把堅持九二共識作為同台灣當局和各政黨開展交往的基礎和 條件。」可見蔡英文想維持現狀，九二共識是遶不開的，那怎麼辦？ 柯文哲的務實靈活作法，和對岸保持各自表述的論述空間， 其實已給蔡英文指路明燈，就看蔡的智慧能不能跟上柯了。