China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
February 16, 2016
Executive Summary: Listening to each other is essential. Asking the Mainland to listen to public opinion on Taiwan is not unreasonable. The public on Taiwan should also listen to the views of Mainland academics and the Mainland public. In particular, people on Taiwan must attempt to understand people on the Mainland. They must attempt to understand their desire for national reunification, and their passion for national rejuvenation. People on Taiwan must not adopt the attitude that what happens on the Mainland has nothing to do with them. They must not adopt a sarcastic, mocking attitude toward the Mainland.
Full Text Below:
As long predicted, Tsai Ing-wen has been elected president. Yet none of the parties are prepared to deal with a Tsai Ing-wen administration. The red and green political camps have no basis on which they can interact. Tsai Ing-wen has no intention of accepting the 1992 Consensus. The Mainland has shut down official communication channels. It is waiting to hear what Tsai Ing-wen says during her 5/20 Inaugural Address. Cross-Strait relations are now deadlocked. Mainland academics concerned with the Taiwan question are issuing stronger calls for reunification, even military reunification. This was unheard of during the last eight years. The public on Taiwan needs to realize what is at stake.
Calls for reunification, even military reunification, prior to the election, may have been merely "the ground will move and the mountains will shake” type warnings. But the election results have shown that these warnings were for naught. Many Mainland academics now call for military reunification. This is a reminder that the gap between public opinion on the two sides is wide. In the past, the Mainland authorities kept a lid on "anti-Taiwan" speech. Will this still be true in the future?
Given current public sentiment on Taiwan, pro-reunification and pro-military reunification rhetoric comes across as especially harsh. It provokes a backlash on Taiwan. The Mainland has long limited Taiwan's international breathing room. It has refused to recognize the Republic of China. Many on Taiwan already feel hostility toward the Mainland. They are unwilling to say anything positive about the Mainland. During the Tainan earthquake, both the Mainland and Japan contributed money and dispatched rescue teams to Taiwan. But Japan got rave reviews, while Mainland goodwill was deliberately ignored. The Mainland is understandably unhappy about this discriminatory treatment. But why was this the case? How can this social psychological bias be changed?
Many members of the public on Taiwan acknowledge the two sides' historical, cultural, and kinship links. They realize the Mainland offers a bright future. But cross-Strait clashes remain frequent. Radical rhetoric from the Mainland makes people unwilling to deal confront the Mainland. It makes them shun the Mainland. These people are not pro-Taiwan independence by nature. They have not adopted radical political stances. Many have high hopes for the Mainland, and harbor goodwill towards the Mainland. But even they are discomfited by such radical rhetoric.
The public on Taiwan has feelings for the Republic of China. It also has a clear sense of national identity. If the Mainland cannot address this, conflicts will constantly arise. They may explode at any time. In other words, if the Mainland truly wishes to win over the public on Taiwan, the most important thing may not be concessions, but merely listening to what the public has to say.
Many on Taiwan hope the Mainland will understand their thinking. They hope the Mainland will understand their sense of identity and their feelings. These directly affect their perception of the Mainland. Mainland academics need to realize that the public on Taiwan longs for peace, and opposes war. Taiwan's democratization and civil society are sources of pride. Taiwan has actively participated in international aid operations. Safeguarding world peace is a national consensus. This social psychology means that the public on Taiwan opposes war as a means for settling disputes. On issues concerning the future of the two sides, the public on Taiwan is even more strenuously opposed to military solutions.
Under the circumstances, if Mainland academics constantly demand military reunification, they will collide head on with mainstream public opinion on Taiwan. This will not be helpful to understanding among people on either side. This proposition may be true or false. But the public on Taiwan already considers it politically incorrect.
Think tanks and academic on both sides have dialogued intensively over the past eight years. But when dealing with basic postures and future prospects, they often talk past each other. They reaffirm their own positions while ignoring each other's. Both Mainland and Taiwan academics reiterate their own arguments, but turn a deaf ear to the other's. Some academics may listen to opposing views. But for the most part they argue their own case, and refuse to accept the other side's ideas. The result is that despite prolonged exchanges, the two sides have not really reached an understanding. Today, calls for military reunification are heard everywhere. This shows that cross-Strait exchanges between academics and think tanks have not enabled the Mainland to understand the Taiwan public's core concerns.
We hope that Mainland think tanks and academics concerned with the Taiwan question will realize the importance of public opinion. Public opinion can overturn political order. In order to win hearts and minds on Taiwan, the Mainland must first understand it. Actually, Mainland academics have greater flexibility. They lack official status. Therefore they can more readily get in touch with grassroots society. They can listen to ordinary people on Taiwan, and translate what they learn directly into policy. If Mainland policy toward Taiwan can address the core concerns of the public on Taiwan, its policies will be more accurate and effective.
Listening to each other is essential. Asking the Mainland to listen to public opinion on Taiwan is not unreasonable. The public on Taiwan should also listen to the views of Mainland academics and the Mainland public. In particular, people on Taiwan must attempt to understand people on the Mainland. They must attempt to understand their desire for national reunification, and their passion for national rejuvenation. People on Taiwan must not adopt the attitude that what happens on the Mainland has nothing to do with them. They must not adopt a sarcastic, mocking attitude toward the Mainland. Hostility between the people on Taiwan and the Mainland may then cool, enabling mutual understanding. If such a give and take between people on the two sides can take place, cross-Strait peace can be ensured.
但若說各方已做好應對蔡英文時代的準備，則未免過於樂觀。 綠紅互動的政治基礎問題至今無解，蔡英文無意接受九二共識， 大陸官方則關閉溝通管道，靜待蔡英文520就職演說出牌。 在兩岸關係陷入僵局之際， 大陸涉台學界與網路卻出現愈來愈緊促的促統言論， 甚至熱炒武統論述，這是過去8年所少見，台灣需謹慎以對。
的警告，選舉結果已證明這種警告無濟於事， 卻仍有很多人繼續發出武統的聲音，這就不得不提醒人們， 兩岸民意落差非常巨大。過去是大陸官方控制了「反台」言論， 未來呢？
對台灣民意的刺激作用也愈發強烈。長久以來， 大陸打壓台灣的國際空間以及不承認中華民國的存在， 已經讓很多台灣民眾對大陸產生強烈的敵意， 甚至不願看到大陸的任何正面訊息，此次台南大地震， 同樣是捐款和派遣援助團隊，日本就得到如潮的好評， 大陸的善意卻被刻意忽略。這種厚此薄彼的作法， 大陸方面當然有理由不滿，但也需要反思的是， 為何會出現這種情況？該如何改變這種社會心理傾向？
也承認大陸有著廣闊的發展前景，但卻因為常常出現的兩岸衝突， 特別是大陸的激進言論，而不願面對大陸，甚至避之唯恐不及。 這些人並非天然獨，政治立場也不激進， 有很多人甚至對大陸抱持著善意，但即便是這類人群， 面對這類激進言論，與大陸交往往往也感到不舒服。
如果大陸方面不能加以正視，這種衝突就會時時存在， 甚至可能隨時引爆衝突。換句話說，大陸要想真正贏得台灣的民心， 最重要的可能不是讓利，而是傾聽台灣民間的聲音。
更希望大陸能夠理解他們的認同與情感， 這直接牽涉到他們對大陸的觀感。除此之外， 大陸學界也需意識到台灣社會對和平的嚮往， 以及對戰爭的深切厭惡。台灣實現民主化多年， 民間社會多以台灣是一個和平之島而驕傲， 台灣積極參與國際援助行動，致力於維護世界和平已經是全民共識， 在這種社會心理影響下，台灣民眾普遍反對用戰爭手段解決爭端， 涉及兩岸未來前景的問題上，台灣民眾更是強烈反對武力解決。
則正好與台灣社會的主流民意背道而馳， 對兩岸民間的互諒互讓根本毫無助益。 且不論這種言論的道理和邏輯何在，其在台灣民眾看來， 已經天然的政治不正確。
但卻涉及在根本立場和兩岸未來前途的問題上， 常常還是停留在各說各話、宣示立場階段， 無論是大陸還是台灣方面的學者，都不斷陳述己方的論點， 卻對對方的觀點充耳不聞。有的學者或許會聽取對方的意見， 但更主要的還是從自己的角度做解釋和說服的工作， 卻未想過接受對方的想法。其導致的結果就是，交流如此之久， 雙方卻並未真正實現互諒互讓。如今武統言論四起， 恰恰證明兩岸學界和智庫交流還是沒有從根本上讓大陸了解台灣社會 的核心關切。
在這個民意反轉政治的年代，要想贏得台灣民心， 必須真正意識到台灣的民意。事實上，大陸學界有更大的靈活性， 也因為沒有直接的官方身分可以更為便利的深入台灣社會基層， 傾聽台灣普通民眾的想法， 並將這些想法轉化成政策形成的直接依據。 如果大陸的對台政策能夠更多的觸及台灣民眾的核心關切， 那麼其政策效果無疑可以更為精確、高效。
台灣也應正面看待大陸學界乃至民間社會有關台灣問題的真實想法， 尤其是渴望統一、渴望實現民族復興的熾熱情感。 如果台灣社會不再抱持事不關己，甚至冷嘲熱諷的態度， 台灣民間跟大陸民間的敵意螺旋或許會逐漸消弭， 兩岸民間的互諒互讓才會有實現的契機， 一旦這種互諒互讓的正向循環啟動，兩岸和平就可確保了。