United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
February 5, 2016
Executive Summary: If President Tsai wants to stabilize cross-Strait relations and promote progress, she must prove she is not who she was under Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian. She must prove she is different from "Chairman Tsai". How will the DPP or Tsai Executive Yuan version of the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations define cross-Strait relations? How will they respond to radical Taiwan independence demands for “one country on each side”? That will be the acid test.
Full Text Below:
The newly elected legislature has decided to make the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations its top priority. But past green camp proposals, included several versions which used the "two states theory" to define cross-Strait relations. This is clearly unacceptable to the other side. If the DPP, which now holds a majority in the Legislative Yuan, presents such a draft, the two-states theory will lead to international and cross-Strait tensions. Is this what will happen?
Just before the presidential election, Tsai Ing-wen promised the public on Taiwan and Washington that she would not provoke a crisis in cross-Strait relations. She promised to "maintain the status quo". Although she deliberately repudiated the 1992 Consensus and "one China, different interpretations", she promised to deal with cross-Strait relations according to the "ROC constitutional framework".
These words may appear reassuring. But are they? The ROC Constitution defines the two sides as internal regions within the Republic of China. The two regions are the "Free Area" and the "Mainland Area". The constitution does not preclude future national reunification. Lee Teng-hui's "two-states theory" or Chen Shui-bian's "one country on each side theory" will probably not reappear.
But lest we forget, proponents of the two-states theory have long invoked their own perverse interpretation of the ROC constitutional framework. They define cross-Strait relations as "special state to state relations". In July 1999, President Lee Teng-hui spoke to reporters from Deutsche Welle. He said "Since the 1991 Constitutional Amendment, cross-Strait relations have been defined as nation to nation relations, or at least special state to state relations... Since the founding of the Republic of China in 1912, it has always been an independent and sovereign state. After the 1991 constitutional amendments, cross-Strait relations became relations between countries, therefore it is no longer necessary to declare Taiwan independence."
On August 1, 1999, the MAC stressed that "one China" is "future tense". It said the current situation is a "special state to state relationship". It claimed that President Lee's position "maintains the status quo, and does not change the status quo". As we can see, according to President Lee's definition, the status quo is “two states".
In 2005, the ROC underwent a change in ruling parties. President Chen Shui-bian promised that he "would not incorporate the two-states theory into the constitution". He seemed to be demonstrating good faith toward the Beijing authorities. But he insisted that “the status quo is two nations”. He didn't make any actual concessions. Later, President Chen shouted "one country on each side", and froze the "National Unification Guidelines". That too was unconstitutional.
Then Chairperson of the Mainland Affairs Council Tsai Ing-wen, also spoke in May 2005. She said “special state to state relations is a good proposal that creates a new framework for the two sides, but unfortunately remains misunderstood by the Chinese Communist Party. The new government will no longer mention the two-states theory, but that does not change the facts". As we can see, the two-states theory was no longer mentioned, but nevertheless remained the Chen government's obdurate stance. On August 3 that same year, Chairman Tsai said '… based on cultural and economic proximity, the people of Taiwan have only one option – to establish a meaningful political relations with the Chinese mainland, and a five to ten year long system for coexistence and common prosperity, in short, a "future one China". '
This, apparently, is Chairman Tsai's stance on "eventual unification" and a "future one China". Many people may have forgotten Tsai Ing-wen said these things. Closer scrutiny however shows that she has carefully provided herself with several giant loopholes. For example, what are "meaningful political relations", and "systems for coexistence"? Is so-called "meaningful political relations" the same as "one China"? What is the relationship between a "future one China", "meaningful political relations" and a "system of coexistence"? These phrases are giant legal loopholes. They may provide more options in cross-Strait relations. But they also allow Tsai to "transform" or "change directions" upon whim. These purposely equivocal phrases enable the Tsai government to move forward, but also to retreat upon whim. Just how will she ultimately interpret these clearly self-contradictory promises?
Under the Ma administration, the "status quo" was defined as "no [immediate] reunification, no independence, no use of force". The "ROC constitutional framework" was defined as "one China equals the Republic of China". Also, the Ma administration reaffirmed the 1992 Consensus and “one China, different interpretations”. Tsai Ing-wen by contrast, interprets the status quo as "special state to state relations". She interprets “one China” as a "future one China". This means that currently there is no “one China”, but instead only “one nation on each side". Tsai Ing-wen appears to have made many solemn promises, but in fact she has made no promises whatsoever. Recently the DPP has denounced the 1992 Consensus and "one China" as pure evil. Will the Tsai government really perform an about face after taking office, and abide by the Ma government's interpretation of the constitution?
If President Tsai wants to stabilize cross-Strait relations and promote progress, she must prove she is not who she was under Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian. She must prove she is different from "Chairman Tsai". How will the DPP or Tsai Executive Yuan version of the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations define cross-Strait relations? How will they respond to radical Taiwan independence demands for “one country on each side”? That will be the acid test.
Will President Tsai revert to “Chairman Tsai"? Or will she change her position to match President Ma's on “maintaining the status quo"? Will she abandon the "two states theory" and reaffirm a "future one China"? We will have to wait and see.
綠營方面先前的提案，有若干版本都是以「兩國論」 來定位兩岸關係，顯然不可能為對岸所接受。 立法院多數黨若提出這樣的草案，也極可能如當年「兩國論」 一般引起國際與兩岸的緊張關係。這種局面會發生嗎？
絕不在兩岸關係上挑釁，一切都會「維持現狀」。雖然她刻意諱言「 九二共識」與「一中各表」，但會依「中華民國憲政體制」 來處理兩岸關係。
中華民國」內部的「自由地區」與「大陸地區」， 並且不排斥將來的國家統一。就此而言，李登輝時期的「兩國論」 或陳水扁所宣稱的「一邊一國」應該不會重現。
中華民國憲政體制」的特殊解釋，將兩岸定位為「特殊國與國關係」 。李登輝總統於一九九九年七月接受「德國之聲」專訪時， 有以下表示：「一九九一年修憲以來， 已將兩岸關係定位在國家與國家，至少是特殊的國與國的關係
……中華民國從一九一二年建立以來，一直都是主權獨立的國家， 又在一九九一年的修憲後，兩岸關係定位在特殊的國與國關係， 所以並沒有再宣布台灣獨立的必要。」
未來」；至於現狀，則是「特殊國與國關係」。其更指出， 李總統的立場乃是「陳述現狀，不是改變現狀」。可見， 在當年李總統的定義下，「現狀」就是「兩國」。
看似對中共釋出善意，但在「現狀就是兩國」上，並無任何退讓。 後來陳總統喊出「一邊一國」，並終止「國統綱領」， 也都沒有修憲。
特殊國與國關係是為開創兩岸新架構的好提議， 但很遺憾遭到中共誤解，新政府未來將不再提兩國論， 但不代表事實不存在。」可見兩國論只是「不再提」， 但仍屬政府的堅定立場。然而，同年八月三日，蔡主委卻表示：「… …基於文化與經濟的接近性，台灣人民未來只有一種選項， 就是與中國大陸建立一個有意義的政治關係， 一個在未來五到十年裡共存共榮的體系，簡化地說就是『 未來的一個中國』」。
很多人可能都忘了蔡英文說過這些話。仔細分析， 這些字詞仍留下許多解釋空間。例如，「有意義的政治關係」或「 共存共榮的體系」是什麼？所謂「有意義的政治關係」就是「 一個中國」嗎？「未來的一個中國」、「有意義的政治關係」與「 共存共榮的體系」，三者之間的關係為何？但無論如何， 這些話語留有很大的發展空間。 一方面可說讓兩岸發展有更多的想像可能，但也留給自己隨時「 變身」「轉向」的空間。在這些含糊語句下， 蔡英文政府隨時可以往前走，但也可以隨時退縮。 她到底會怎樣詮釋當年這些看來矛盾的語言？
不統不獨不武」，是「一個中國=中華民國」， 並且承認九二共識與一中各表。但在蔡英文的解讀下，也可以是「 特殊國與國關係」、「未來一中」（表示現在沒有一中）以及「 一邊一國」。蔡英文看似做出承諾，但其實什麼承諾也沒有做。 加上近年來民進黨對「九二共識」與「一中」簡直視若讎寇。 蔡政府上任後，會大轉彎而遵從馬政府的憲法解釋嗎？
就必須在實質上證明她與當年的李登輝、陳水扁、乃至「蔡主委」 之間有所不同。相信民進黨版（或未來蔡政府的行政院版）的《 兩岸協議監督條例》對兩岸關係的定位， 還有他們將來如何回應激進獨派對一邊一國的呼求， 將是一個重要觀察點。