China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
March 29, 2016
Executive Summary: The Mainland clearly intends to adhere to its basic position that "both sides are part of one China". But conditions inside and outside the DPP, as well as partisan conflict on Taiwan, will probably make it impossible for Tsai Ing-wen to meet Mainland expectations in her inaugural speech. Does that mean the CCP and DPP will therefore collide head on like two freight trains? Does that mean all that we can do is stand by and wring our hands?
Full Text Below:
The Mainland clearly intends to adhere to its basic position that "both sides are part of one China". But conditions inside and outside the DPP, as well as partisan conflict on Taiwan, will probably make it impossible for Tsai Ing-wen to meet Mainland expectations in her inaugural speech. Does that mean the CCP and DPP will therefore collide head on like two freight trains? Does that mean all that we can do is stand by and wring our hands?
To explore this question objectively, we must seek agreement between the CCP and DPP. We must understand the evolution of the Mainland's Taiwan policy. The Mainland's Taiwan policy is not a monolith. It has undergone repeated modifications, primarily in two phases. The first phase began with Mao Zedong's "liberate Taiwan", and ended with Deng Xiaoping's "peaceful reunification, one country two systems". During this first phase, the two sides had no official contacts and the private sector had only low level contacts. During the Hu Jintao era, the Mainland proposed "cross-Strait peaceful development" leading ultimately to peaceful reunification. The Mainland expressed goodwill towards Taiwan, expanded mutually beneficial cooperation in a variety of areas, initiating a new, second phase in Taiwan policy.
In 2005, following the Lien Hu summit, cross-Strait peaceful development began in earnest. Later, when Ma Ying-jeou assumed office, cross-Strait economic and trade cooperation increased by leaps and bounds. Cultural, scientific, and technological exchanges increased. The two sides signed 27 agreements. The private sector established links and a variety of convenience enhancing measures. Cross-Strait exchanges were now in full swing.
Cross-Strait peaceful development was the Mainland's first Taiwan policy to receive widespread acceptance. It played a huge role in the normalization of cross-Strait relations. But the ultimate goal remained peaceful reunification. This made it highly controversial on Taiwan. The Mainland hopes to sign a peace agreement formally ending hostilities. It seeks a clear definition of cross-Strait relations and cross-Strait interaction, one that will resolve the chief problem of national identity. The Ma government once considered this as a major plank in its election platform. But unequal benefits from cross-Strait interaction led to widespread social discontent. Anti-Mainland sentiment spread. The DPP successfully stigmatized any cross-Strait peace agreement as a “surrender agreement”. Internal acceptance on Taiwan plummeted. During the KMT party chairmanship election, Hung Shiu-chu raised the issues once again, only to encounter a severe backlash from fellow party members.
Voters once supported a cross-Strait peace agreement. But now many harbor doubts. Part of this is the result of long term stigmatization by the opposition DPP. But to many on Taiwan, peace has become the norm. Few appreciate it because they have forgotten how difficult peace was to come by. Tense confrontations in the Taiwan Strait no longer offer them reminders. When the new government comes to power, cross-Strait relations are likely to revert to unpredictability. Tsai Ing-wen has yet to respond to the 1992 Consensus. Nor has she responded to the Mainland's one China principle. This is clearly undermining the political basis for cross-Strait exchanges.
The Mainland has repeatedly emphasized that changes in Taiwan's internal political situation will not change the Mainland's Taiwan policy. Tsai Ing-wen has pledged not to provoke the Mainland. But the experience of the Chen Shui-bian era offers us a reminder. When the two sides cannot communicate through official channels, mutual suspicions may generate sparks resulting in a conflagration. If Taiwan's internal politics change, the government might repeat the mistakes of the Chen era. It might be tempted to use cross-Strait disputes to distract from discontent with the ruling party. Cross-Strait relations would assuredly be unable to withstand such pressures.
Such an outcome must be prevented. The rule of law may be able to consolidate the fruits of cross-Strait relations, by providing cross-Strait interaction with a legal framework. At the very least, it could become part of the DPP party platform. This would help prevent setbacks in cross-Strait relations. Cross-Strait relations could fall prey to a new Cold Peace. The possibility makes the institutionalization of cross-Strait relations even more urgent. A cross-Strait declaration of intent would undoubtedly help prevent an escalation of cross-Strait tensions.
During the Chen era, cross-Strait tensions escalated to the point where the US suggested an interim agreement. It hoped the two sides would sign an agreement freezing the cross-Strait status quo for 20 to 30 years. This would enable the two sides to establish a mutually agreeable form of interaction, gain experience, increase mutual trust, and ultimately resolve cross-strait relations for the next generation. When the Ma administration came to office, cross-Strait relations progressed rapidly. The need for an agreement to avoid tensions became less urgent. Now this need has reappeared. The ruling and opposition parties must give the matter their full attention.
When Tsai Ing-wen visited Washington, she proposed a definition of the "status quo". The US approved. Back on Taiwan, she accepted the historical fact of the 1992 Consensus, and past cross-Strait agreements. Ma Ying-jeou said that the 27 agreements signed with the Mainland over the past eight years essentially constitute a peace agreement. He considers seeking substantive agreement better than demanding a formal peace agreement.
Can the DPP All Peoples Conference issue a political commitment to the public on Taiwan, to the Mainland authorities, and to the international community? If it can, it would help consolidate cross-Strait political relations.
The DPP will hold an All Peoples Conference. It should issue a resolution defining the "status quo". It should promise to negotiate the Mainland and sign an "agreement to normalize cross-Strait relations", thereby contributing to normalized exchanges between the CCP and DPP.
但衡諸民進黨內外情勢與台灣政黨對峙現實， 可能很難期待蔡英文的就職演說，能做出讓大陸可以接受的論述， 那麼，民共的火車真的即將對撞嗎？我們只能心急如焚袖手旁觀嗎？
應先理解大陸對台政策的沿革與理路。大陸對台政策並非鐵板一塊， 曾經數次調整，大致分成兩個階段。第一階段從毛澤東時代的「 解放台灣」開始，到鄧小平時代的「和平統一、一國兩制」， 這個階段兩岸官方互不往來，民間低度往來。胡錦濤時代提出「 兩岸和平發展階段論」，宣示大陸在實現和平統一的終極結果之前， 將致力向台灣釋放善意，與台灣各領域展開互利合作， 對台政策進入新階段。
馬英九執政後兩岸經貿合作日趨緊密，文化、 科技等諸領域的合作也更加頻繁，並簽署了27項協議， 兩岸民間往來也開放三通和種種便捷化措施， 讓兩岸進入大交流大發展時期。
對兩岸關係正常發展進程發揮了巨大的促進作用。 但其終極目標仍然是和平統一， 這在台灣社會內部卻仍然具高度爭議性。 大陸希望在這一階段能夠簽署和平協議，結束兩岸敵對狀態， 明確兩岸關係定位，解決兩岸互動的主體身分問題， 馬政府也曾將此作為主要政見爭取選民支持。 但隨著兩岸互動過程中的分配不均問題引爆社會不滿， 反中情緒開始瀰漫，「兩岸和平協議」 也被民進黨汙名化為投降協議，台灣社會內部接受度大大降低， 洪秀柱在國民黨主席選舉時提出相關議題，也受到黨員反彈壓力。
固然與反對黨的長期汙名化有關，但不能否認，在台灣人認知裡，「 和平」已成為正常狀態，不再有得來不易的珍惜之心， 也不再對台海緊張對峙有警覺之意。隨著新政府上台， 兩岸關係很可能再度進入禍福難料時期， 蔡英文遲遲未就九二共識表態， 也沒有回應大陸有關一中原則的喊話， 顯然將侵蝕兩岸活動的既有政治基礎。
大陸對台的基本方針不會改變，蔡英文承諾對大陸絕不挑釁， 但陳水扁時代的種種情境提醒了我們，當兩岸官方不能有效溝通， 兩岸產生相互疑慮之心，星星之火也會引發大火。但我們更擔心， 隨著台灣內部政局的變動，政府仍然有可能重蹈扁政府覆轍， 以兩岸紛爭分散台灣內部對執政黨的壓力， 這無疑是兩岸關係不能承受之重。
以法治化的形式鞏固兩岸關係既有發展成果， 並將兩岸互動模式和原則以法律形式固定下來， 或至少在民進黨內成為政綱的一部分，將有助於避免兩岸關係逆轉。 在兩岸關係可能進入冷和的背景下， 兩岸關係制度化的需求就更為急迫， 兩岸之間簽署更具原則性和宣示性的政治協議， 無疑有助於避免兩岸關係重新走入緊張對立的階段。
希望兩岸簽署一個在20年到30年的時間內凍結兩岸現狀， 建立雙方可接受的互動模式，以積累經驗並增加互信， 最終幫助兩岸關係在下一代得到解決。後來馬政府上台， 兩岸關係長足進步，使得簽署協議避免緊張的需要變得不那麼迫切。 現在這種需求再度顯現，值得朝野各黨重視。
在國內又承諾願接受九二共識的歷史事實及過去兩岸談判的互動成果 與協議。馬英九曾強調，過去8年與大陸簽署的27項協議也算廣義 的和平協議，換句話說，與其拘泥於文字意義上的和平協議， 不如在過去協議的基礎上尋求實質的共識。
現狀」定義，並承諾願以開放的立場與大陸進行簽署「 兩岸關係正常化協議」協商， 或有助於跨越民共正常交往的最後一哩路。