United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
August 11, 2015
Executive Summary: The Taipei-Shanghai "Twin Cities Forum" will convene in Shanghai on the 17th. Ko Wen-je will personally head a delegation and attend. Zhang Zhijun, Director of the Mainland Taiwan Affairs Office, said he "looks forward to it". Cross-Strait relations may undergo major changes in 2016. Yet city to city exchanges continue without interruption. That is significant. But when Beijing authorities are shaking Ko Wen-je's hand, they will be asking where Tsai Ing-wen stands. Tsai Ing-wen's feet remain mired in the quicksand of Taiwan independence. Never mind her invocation of the "constitutional framework of the Republic of China" as the basis for cross-Strait relations. Given the Twin Cities Forum dispute, will Tsai Ing-wen be able to "run the red light"?
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The Taipei-Shanghai "Twin Cities Forum" will convene in Shanghai on the 17th. Ko Wen-je will personally head a delegation and attend. Zhang Zhijun, Director of the Mainland Taiwan Affairs Office, said he "looks forward to it". Cross-Strait relations may undergo major changes in 2016. Yet city to city exchanges continue without interruption. That is significant. But when Beijing authorities are shaking Ko Wen-je's hand, they will be asking where Tsai Ing-wen stands. Tsai Ing-wen's feet remain mired in the quicksand of Taiwan independence. Never mind her invocation of the "constitutional framework of the Republic of China" as the basis for cross-Strait relations. Given the Twin Cities Forum dispute, will Tsai Ing-wen be able to "run the red light"?
From Beijing's perspective, the Twin Cities Forum is a form of bridge building. The deep green Ko Wen-je may be useful in dealing with Tsai Ing-wen and cross-Strait relations after 2016. Will the cross-Strait collision result in more breathing space, or less?
In March, the Beijing authorities held a series of press conferences. Ko Wen-je declared, verbatim, that "one China is not a problem", and that "the two sides of the Strait are one family". The Beijing authorities expressed "appreciation". As a result, the Twin Cities Forum were not cancelled. But lo and behold, Ko Wen-je later claimed that the Mainland media "quoted him out of context". The Mainland authorities sometimes find Taiwan's political rhetoric slippery. This is especially true of Old School green camp reunification vs. independence rhetoric. Even statements made asked openly in the media, may involve countless loopholes. Therefore even though it is already August, and preparations for the Twin Cities Forum are nearly complete, the Deputy Mayor of Shanghai must now confirm Ko Wen-je's stance with the help of the Mainland media.
Beijing now wants confirmation on the 1992 Consensus. Before Ko Wen-je took office, he said "I have no idea what the 1992 Consensus is about". He even wondered why a "consensus without a consensus" from 20 years ago is the basis for current exchanges. Ko later corrected himself, and said he "understands and respects" the 1992 Consensus. He said he understood that cross-Strait exchanges are not international exchanges. Ko Wen-je's change in tune eliminated the political obstacles standing in the way of the Twin Cities Forum and his visit to the Mainland as mayor.
Regarding the Taiwan Affairs Office's expression of "appreciation", Ko Wen-je dismissed it as "diplomatic language". But Ko spoke to the Mainland media twice. Both times he indulged in political sophistry. In response to Beijing's "one China" stance, the United States said it "acknowledged it" and raised no objections. But it avoided saying that it "recognized it". Japan expressed "understanding and respect". Ko Wen-je said his "One China is not a problem" remark referred to the blue vs. green "consensus without consensus". He said the blue camp affirmed it, and the green camp was happy to go along. He said the green camp's position was "one China, one Taiwan". The two have nothing to do with each other. Therefore "one China" is not a problem.
As for the 1992 Consensus, Ko Wen-je said he did not expressly acknowledge it. He merely said he "understood and respected" the Mainland's position. He then re-emphasized his own "New Perspectives for 2015". But the term "1992 Consensus" was coined by Su Chi. The KMT followed suit. The CCP accepted it, and the 1992 Consensus become the political basis for cross-Strait exchanges. But here is the embarrassing part. The 1992 Consensus that Ko Wen-je expressed "understanding and respect" for, was the Mainland's version of the 1992 Consensus. So did Ko gain or lose? Ko Wen-je spoke of the 1992 Consensus. The CCP stressed "one China", while the KMT stressed "different interpretations". Tsai Ing-wen has hollowed out the "Republic of China" through backdoor listing. By the same token, Ko Wen-je's sophistry has hollowed out the 1992 Consensus. The Taiwan Affairs Office must now spell out the essence of the 1992 Consensus for Ko Wen-je, namely that "both sides of the Strait are part of one China". It must then give Ko the green light, and proceed to hold the Twin Cities Forum. Is this a case of seeing the light only at the end of one's rope?
The green camp has swiftly gained ground from the blue camp. Beijing desperately needs to get a handle on the situation before 2016. The highly popular Ko Wen-je may be able to transcend blue vs. green, Ko might provide just such a handle. Based on the experience of green camp county chiefs and city mayors, the Mainland has adopted a relatively pragmatic and flexible attitude for cross-strait exchanges at the local level. By contrast, Ko Wen-je has twice been asked to clarify his position on the 1992 Consensus. This means Beijing is holding firm on the bottom line. The Mainland has repeatedly sought to determine Ko Wen-je's actual stance. Clearly mutual trust is the key to cross-Strait exchanges.
Before the 1992 Consensus controvery arose, Ko Wen-je hemmed and hawed, enabling cross-Strait city to city exchanges to continue. The DPP refused to recognize the 1992 Consensus. When Tsai Ing-wen visited the United States, she avoided mention of the 1992 Consensus. She grudgingly pledged to "continue to seek common ground". But the Taiwan Affairs Office demanded answers. "What are cross-Strait relations? What is the basis for cross-Strait relations? How can peaceful and stable cross-Strait relations be maintained?" In fact these are questions the public on Taiwan should be asking.
Zhang Zhijun wants Ko Wen-je to take a stand on the 1992 Consensus. He is pleased that the Twin Cities Forum will proceed without a hitch. Meanwhile however, "all responsible parties must offer a clear response" on the core meaning of the 1992 consensus. Beijing has given Ko Wen-je a green light. But it has also laid a minefield for Tsai Ing-wen.
Ko Wen-je has squeaked by. Can Tsai Ing-wen?
2015-08-11 01:24:00 聯合報 聯合報社論
柯文哲將親自率團出席，中共國台辦主任張志軍表示「樂見其成」。 在兩岸關係面臨二○一六年重大變數之際， 這項城巿交流機制不致中斷，頗具意義。但當北京握著柯文哲的手， 眼睛卻盯著蔡英文的腳；因為蔡英文雙足深陷台獨泥沼， 雙手卻高揮「中華民國憲政體制」旗幟推動兩岸關係。從《 雙城論壇》的折衝，蔡英文能得出「紅燈易闖」的結論嗎？
不是問題」和「兩岸一家親」的答案，北京大加「讚賞」， 使雙城論壇得以繼續溝通辦理；不料，柯文哲事後卻指陸媒「 斷章取義」。中共的文件詮釋學，面對台灣政治生態下的語藝策略， 尤其是傳統綠營的統獨修辭，亦見有時而窮，難以掌握， 即連透過媒體指定提問，也不免掛一漏萬。於是，八月初， 儘管雙城論壇已近籌備完成，中共仍透過上海副巿長回訪探詢， 並藉陸媒聯訪補充，確認柯文哲的可能意向。
柯文哲上任前曾表示不知「九二共識」實質內容為何， 更質疑為什麼要拿二十幾年前一個「沒有共識的共識」 作為今天討論的基礎；如今，他則改口表示「瞭解和尊重」 九二共識，並澄清兩岸交流不是國際交流。柯文哲態度的調整， 為雙城論壇的舉辦和他以市長身分登陸，排除了政治障礙。
兩度接受陸媒聯訪，柯文哲也充分發揮政治修辭策略。北京的「 一個中國」立場，美國表示「認知」，而且不提異議，但是迴避「 承認」；而日本則是「理解和尊重」。至於柯文哲所謂「『 一個中國』不是問題」，原是藍綠之間「沒有共識的共識」， 藍營固稱當然，綠營卻也樂於稱道，因為以「一中一台」的立場， 兩相切割，「一中」沒有問題。
大陸的立場，並再度強調其「一五新觀點」。難堪的是，「 九二共識」一辭為蘇起首創，國民黨沿用， 而為中共接受並成為兩岸交流的政治基礎，但柯文哲所「 瞭解和尊重」的，卻是大陸提出的「九二共識」；如此，是進是退？ 柯文哲或未計及，談「九二共識」，中共只凸出「一中」， 而國民黨更強調「各表」；如果說蔡英文掏空「中華民國」 卻借殼使用，柯文哲其實也是架空「九二共識」，魚目混珠。 獲得這樣的「瞭解和尊重」，國台辦甚至必須替柯文哲作出「『 九二共識』的核心意涵是兩岸同屬一個中國」的補充解釋， 然後為他開啟綠燈，放行雙城論壇。這又難道是窮則變？
在台灣內部找到可以著力的新支點；而高人氣、 可能跳脫藍綠包袱的柯文哲，正是一個支點。 根據綠營縣巿長登陸經驗， 大陸方面對於兩岸城市或地方層級的交往， 有著相對務實和彈性的態度；相形之下， 柯文哲兩度被要求透過陸媒公開表態，凸顯的是「九二共識」 仍為北京不容逾越的底線。而大陸方面反覆求索柯文哲的真意， 更凸顯互信才是兩岸交往真正的關鍵。
畢竟讓兩岸城巿交流繼續維持。民進黨否認「九二共識」， 蔡英文訪美時避提「九二共識」，僅勉強表示，「 就繼續求同存異吧」；但旋遭國台辦逼問：「兩岸之間是什麼關係， 兩岸關係發展的基礎是什麼，怎樣維護兩岸關係和平穩定發展」。 這話，其實也是台灣社會苦苦追問的事。
雙城論壇》將順利舉辦，另一方面就九二共識的核心意涵，「 要求所有負責任的政黨都需作出明確回答」。 北京為柯文哲開啟了綠燈，也為蔡英文劃設了雷區。