China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
January 8, 2016
Executive Summary: The result of the election is pretty much a forgone conclusion. The KMT will probably lose the presidency. The blue camp will probably lose, for the first time ever, its legislative majority. The KMT in particular, is likely to lose many seats. Any attempt to emulate Chen Shui-bian era legislative checks and balances will be difficult. This means that Beijing must also rethink its Taiwan policy.
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The result of the election is pretty much a forgone conclusion. The KMT will probably lose the presidency. The blue camp will probably lose, for the first time ever, its legislative majority. The KMT in particular, is likely to lose many seats. Any attempt to emulate Chen Shui-bian era legislative checks and balances will be difficult. This means that Beijing must also rethink its Taiwan policy.
This does not mean that Beijing's past Taiwan policy was a failure. Over the past eight years, cross-Strait relations have improved dramatically. This change cannot be undone. According to most polls, nearly half of all young people are willing to go to the Mainland to work, study, even marry. An Academia Sinica survey showed that 49.7% of the public on Taiwan believes the two sides "will eventually be reunified". This shows that cross-Strait people to people relations are good. In the past, Beijing dealt mainly with the KMT. Once the KMT loses power, the importance of KMT-CCP links will decline. Beijing will have to deal directly with the public on Taiwan, and develop people to people relations.
Beijing has long advocated pinning its hopes on the Taiwan public. Over the past two years it has underscored the importance of “San Zhong Yi Qing”, or “Three Middles One Young” policy. This policy reaches out to small and medium enterprises, middle and low-income people, people in central and southern Taiwan, and Taiwan youth. As long as the KMT was in power, Beijing relied on the KMT's organizational structure and contacts. Now a change in ruling parties is imminent. Beijing has the opportunity to conduct a thorough review of its Taiwan policy, to think about how to reach hearts and minds on Taiwan, to think about how to win public support within Taiwan.
Consider the public relations perspective. Beijing has long used the "China Taiwan Network" and other such media to reach Taiwan. Stars from Taiwan are invited to appear on Mainland television shows. Unfortunately the focus is usually on the Mainland. As a result the impact on Taiwan leaves much to be desired. After all, these programs are propaganda permeated with Mainland thinking. They are one-way communications. That makes identification with it difficult for people from Taiwan. That makes it difficult to encourage dialogue. Prejudice may even result in people from Taiwan rejecting Mainland media content out of hand, for purely emotional reasons. That does not mean the Mainland media is uncompetitive. Mainland television dramas and variety shows are extremely popular on Taiwan. They demonstrate just how competitive the Mainland's cultural and creative industries can be.
Beijing must realize the importance of news broadcasting and cultural dissemination. It must make cross-Strait cultural exchanges more convenient. It must form cross-Strait strategic TV news alliances, even cross-Strait strategic media alliances. It must enable media workers, directors, producers, screenwriters, and actors from Taiwan to incorporate Taiwan elements into media content. It must provide greater opportunities for people from Taiwan to accept Mainland soft power. Doing so will also enable people from the Mainland to better understand the real Taiwan. Over the long term, this will improve cross-Strait understanding among the general public.
Beijing must gain a greater appreciation of Mainland students and Mainland business travelers. President Ma governed for eight years. Mainland tour groups flocked to Taiwan in an unending stream. Official visits often made headlines. But for the general public, such exchanges were irrelevant. Their itineraries made authentic interaction with ordinary people difficult. The number of Mainland tourists increased year to year. But most joined “If It's Tuesday This must be Belgium” style tour groups. They had little chance to interact with ordinary people on Taiwan. Under these circumstances, people to people exchanges can hardly be expected to increase mutual understanding.
Based on current group visits, communications between Mainland students and Mainland business travelers with people on Taiwan have been the most effective. Only these two groups can change public perception of the Mainland. Only these two groups can foster goodwill toward the Mainland. Many Taiwan students support Mainland students on many issues. This proves that. The main reason for this is that Mainland students live on Taiwan long term. They remain in close communication with Taiwan students. Much of the discrimination and hostility arising from misunderstandings can be dispelled by such long term exchanges.
Business travelers have had a similar effect. Many of them shuttle back and forth between the two sides. They work alongside colleagues on Taiwan. They achieve tacit understanding and trust with each other. They gradually change the impression of Taiwan office workers have of the Mainland. That is why Beijing must understand the importance of non-governmental forces. Taiwan may undergo a change in ruling parties. Nevertheless Beijing should expand, not shrink cross-Strait exchanges among students and business people.
Beijing must pay attention to the importance of market forces and civil society. On today's Taiwan, a close relationship between government and business often raises concerns. By contrast, seeking to enter Taiwan for purely market-based reasons seldom provokes strong opposition. This is why Alipay and Taobao, which have allowed online shopping from Taiwan, have experienced positive results. We must allow Taiwan industry to collaborate with Mainland industry, based on supply and demand. In fact, this sort of win/win cross-Strait cooperation is most helpful to SMEs.
At the same time, the Mainland must promote cross-Strait interaction among civic organizations. For people on Taiwan, their daily lives are not about political parties, but rather public interest or shared interest groups. The Mainland has a thriving civil society. People from the Mainland and Taiwan are fully capable of interacting with each other on their own. It is not difficult for them to organize sports events, cultural exhibits, and seminars. If the Mainland expands cross-Strait interaction to include civic organizations, it can better reach the people of Taiwan.
泛藍也可能首次失去國會過半優勢， 特別是國民黨的席次可能大幅下降， 想複製扁時代以立法權制衡民進黨將困難重重。對大陸來說， 也意味著對台政策必須重新思考、再做調整。
相當程度不可逆階段，綜合各家民調， 有近半數年輕人願意到大陸工作、求學，甚至通婚， 中研院調查更顯示，49.7%民眾認知台灣「終將被統一」， 顯示兩岸民間關係密不可斷。只是，過去大陸主要跟國民黨打交道， 國民黨失去政權後，國共平台的作用將相應下降， 大陸將需要直接面對台灣民眾，發展民間關係。
最近兩年更幾次三番強調要重視三中一青。 但在國民黨執政的狀況之下， 大陸主要還是依賴國民黨的組織與人脈。如今政黨輪替在即， 或許也給了大陸一個機會，可以徹底檢討對台政策， 思考如何深入台灣民心，從台灣內部爭取民心向背。
等自辦媒體對台宣傳，影視節目也會邀請很多台灣明星加盟， 只可惜主要視角還是放在大陸，效果並不理想。 畢竟這些宣傳或節目都屬於大陸式思維及單向傳播， 難以讓台灣民眾真正產生認同感，創造對話的動力， 甚至因為既定印象的緣故，根本從內心排斥大陸媒體的新聞內容。 但這並不意味大陸在文化媒介層面缺乏競爭力， 看看大陸電視劇和娛樂節目在台灣的爆紅， 即可知道大陸的文創競爭力。
為兩岸新聞與影視文化交流與策略結盟提供更多便利， 甚至開放兩岸媒體策略結盟，讓台灣媒體工作者與導演、製片、 編劇及演員有更大自主空間納入「台灣元素」， 那麼台灣民眾將會有更多機會接受大陸的文化軟實力。 大陸民眾也有機會可以認識「原汁原味」的台灣， 長期而言有利兩岸民眾相互理解。
馬總統執政八年，大陸來台參訪團絡繹不絕， 各種官式拜會也常見諸報端，但對一般民眾來說， 這類交流活動都與他們無關， 而這些活動的行程設計也注定他們難以跟底層民眾有實質的互動。 至於年年擴大的陸客團，其實多以走馬觀花為主， 跟台灣的庶民社會基本不會產生聯繫。在這種情況之下， 自然難以期待通過這類交流活動可以加強兩岸民眾之間的相互理解。
還是陸生和商務客跟台灣民眾的交流是最有效的， 也只有這兩大群體最能改變台灣民眾對大陸的認識， 甚至還可以在交流過程中培養善意， 那麼多台生對許多涉及陸生權益問題採取支持的態度，一葉知秋。 這主要是因為陸生長期生活在台灣， 可以跟台灣青年進行最為直接而密切的交流， 許多因為誤解而產生的歧視和敵意也會通過這種長時間的交流而消解 。
跟台灣的同事合作共事，彼此也產生了默契與信任， 也能逐漸改變台灣上班族對大陸的印象。因此， 大陸方面要充分了解民間力量的重要性，即便政黨輪替之後， 也應該對兩岸學生和商務人士的交流採取擴大而非限縮的政策。
在台灣目前的社會氛圍下，密切的政商關係常常會引起疑慮，相反， 純粹基於市場原因而謀求進入台灣的商業行為， 在台灣並不會引起強烈的反對，這在支付寶入台、 淘寶開放台灣網購等問題上都可見其積極成效。 如果能夠讓台灣業界可以根據市場供需跟大陸相關業者合作， 其實才最有助於兩岸中小企業的互利共贏。
對台灣民眾來說，生活息息相關的不是政黨， 而是公益團體或共同興趣組織。 以大陸現在蓬勃發展的民間社會來看， 大陸民眾完全有能力自主跟台灣相應的團體互動， 共同合作籌辦興趣比賽、文化展覽以及研討會，都並非難事。 如果大陸能夠擴大兩岸民間社會組織的互動， 顯然可以更容易地接觸台灣民眾。