China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
March 31, 2016
Executive Summary: The DPP regime is about to assume power. Whether one wants people like this dealing with Beijing, they are the ones whom Beijing will be dealing with. Several recent developments are worrying. Is the DPP treating cross-Strait issues too lightly? Does it not understand the Mainland? Do key leaders and members of the new regime's brain trust not understand Beijing? Are they misjudging the situation, making erroneous decisions that would make the Mainland put the squeeze on Taiwan, and increase the risk of conflict?
Full Text Below:
The DPP regime is about to assume power. Whether one wants people like this dealing with Beijing, they are the ones whom Beijing will be dealing with.
Several recent developments are worrying. Is the DPP treating cross-Strait issues too lightly? Does it not understand the Mainland? Do key leaders and members of the new regime's brain trust not understand Beijing? Are they misjudging the situation, making erroneous decisions that would make the Mainland put the squeeze on Taiwan, and increase the risk of conflict?
In political, diplomatic, and commercial negotiations, success does not accrue to those with brand recognition. It accrues to those able to analyze the larger picture and read their opponent's hand. To prevail during negotiations, one must first analyze the two sides' actual positions to see what chips they hold. Only then can one develop the best policy.
The new government has yet to assume power, but messages have already been sent back and forth between it and Beijing regarding the 1992 Consensus. By May 20, we will know who came out ahead during first round negotiations. The two sides may remain stalled. Washington may continue to act as middleman. But substantive negotiations are already under way. Therefore the DPP must first understand the cross-Strait situation as it stands, as well as Beijing's position. Only then can it avoid making blunders and missing opportunities. Only then can it avoid the impression it is setting traps for Beijing, or engaged in gamesmanship.
When Mainland Foreign Minister Wang Yi addressed the CSIS in Washington, he spoke of “constitutionalism”. The DPP reacted swiftly, saying that Tsai Ing-wen should "continue to resolve disputes and conduct cross-Strait relations in accordance with the current ROC constitutional framework”. This would seize the initiative, prevent Beijing from reneging on its position, and enable the DPP to observe Beijing's reaction to "two sides, two constitutions".
Alas, the DPP was too rash. It read too much into Wang Yi's reference to “constitutionalism”. It assumed that Tsai Ing-wen's handling of the 1992 Consensus had already passed muster, and that Beijing was backing down. The DPP's misunderstanding makes resolving the dispute even more difficult, and amounts to a missed opportunity.
When the Mainland and Gambia established diplomatic relations, the DPP may have attempted to console the public. When Panama invited both Tsai Ing-wen and Mainland President Xi Jinping to attend the completion ceremony for the canal widening, DPP officials actually envisioned a "Cai Xi meeting" in Panama.
Such foolish inferences make one fear for Tsai Ing-wen's administrative team. Do they have the slightest understanding of “Sinology” or the fundamentals of international power politics?
When Taiwan authorities seek meetings between leaders from the two sides in international venues, Beijing considers that a violation of the "Two Sides, One China" principle. Even meetings between leaders from the two sides at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference (APEC) pose difficulties. Xi Jinping cannot possibly meet with Tsai Ing-wen in Panama, especially since the Mainland currently lacks diplomatic relations with Panama. Xi Jinping's presence would be interpreted as Beijng's acceptance of "two Chinas". That is clearly impossible.
Therefore when the DPP misuses its media channels to tout a "Panama Tsai Xi meeting", Beijing may conclude that the new government is attempting to set a trap, with the intention of promoting “two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan". The two sides already lack a basis for trust. Bridge building will become even harder. This is a trap the DPP has laid for itself.
Panama invited leaders from both sides to attend the canal widening completion ceremony. But that could be a warning for our side. Were it not for President Ma Ying-jeou's diplomatic truce, Panama would probably already enjoy diplomatic relations with the Mainland. Over the past seven years, Taiwan's allies in Latin America have supported Taiwan's bid for membership in the United Nations. Only Panama and the Dominican Republic have not. Actually, the fact that Panama invited Xi Jinping to attend, implies that our relationship with Panama is not terribly secure. The DPP should devote more attention to firming up our diplomatic relations, rather than engaging in wishful thinking, and imagining an impossible "Tsai Xi meeting".
According to news reports, Tsai Ing-wen has met privately with Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng. She has urged him not to resign his position as KMT legislator at large, and agree to be named chairman of the SEF. Soon to be Premier Lin Chuan offered no comment. Tsai Ing-wen issued no denial. Therefore there may be some truth to it. If so, Tsai Ing-wen has clearly misjudged both the cross-Strait situation and Beijing's attitude. Wang Jin-pyng and former President Lee are very close. Wang privately inquired about visiting Beijing several times during his tenure in the Legislative Yuan, but was rebuffed every time. This reveals Beijing's attitude toward Wang. If Tsai in fact wants Wang Jin-pyng as her SEF chairman, observers will interpret it as an attempt to lure away the KMT “nativist” faction and to perpetuate Lee Teng-hui's Taiwan independence path. Either way, such a move is hostile to Beijing, and at such a stage, the DPP should not be making any such moves.
As part of one's negotiation strategy, one can of course deliberately raise the stakes, issue tough demands, or even advance absurd proposals, in order to undermine other peoples' expectations. But one must first realize who actually holds the most chips. One must never forget that the outcome will ultimately be determined during the final showdown by real strength. The DPP must realize that cross-Strait talks began when the January 16 election ended. Every action by the new government, even accidentally or inadvertently, may be interpreted by the other side as a negotiating tactic.
Therefore before May 20, any senior official in the new government charged with cross-Strait matters must realize that negotiations are already in progress. They must be vigilant. They must avoid reckless speech. They must not misjudge the situation. They must not misinterpret Beijing's position, provoking an unnecessary showdown or collision between the two sides.
或是太不瞭解大陸，造成領導核心、 重要幕僚與智囊集體誤判客觀的形勢和北京當局的立場， 因而做出錯誤的決策，導致大陸縮緊對台政策彈性空間， 兩岸風險升高。
而屬於能夠分析通盤局勢、了解對手如何出牌者。想在談判中獲勝， 必須先實際地分析雙方的立場和籌碼， 才能擬定對自己最有利的策略。
進行一連串隔空談判，而且在520時第一階段的談判就會進行得失 清算。就算目前雙方仍舊停留在透過華府協調和隔空對話， 但實際的談判已經在進行；因此， 民進黨首先必須認清當前的兩岸情勢和北京的立場， 才不會在談判過程中，犯下錯失先機、自限陷阱和不當博弈的閃失。
民進黨本可立即接下，蔡英文若能提出「 執政後將繼續依據現行中華民國憲政體制處理彼此爭議並推動兩岸關 係」來回應，不但能搶得先機，拉住北京不讓立場退後； 還可以繼續試探對手對「兩岸兩憲」的態度。
，是違反「兩岸一中」原則， 如果兩岸領導人連在亞太經濟合作會議（APEC） 領導人會晤都有困難的情況下， 習近平斷不可能在巴拿馬和蔡英文會晤，何況中巴目前沒有外交， 習近平如果出席，國際將解讀為中國在外交上已經接受「兩個中國」 ，這基本上是不可能出現的情況。
反而造成北京判斷是新政府故意設下陷阱，有意搞雙重承認或「 兩個中國」、「一中一台」，這會讓已經欠缺互信基礎的雙方， 未來搭橋會更加困難，這是民進黨自己給自己設下的陷阱。
反而可能是對我方外交的示警。 因為如果不是兩岸之間因為馬英九總統的兩岸外交休兵政策， 巴拿馬很可能已經和中國大陸建交；即便如此，過去7年中， 台灣在拉丁美洲的友邦中， 巴拿馬和多明尼加從來沒有連署支持台灣加入聯合國。 巴拿馬邀習近平出席，反過來說就是我們和巴國的邦誼並非很穩固； 民進黨應該花更多的心思去推演如何鞏固邦交， 而不是一廂情願的費力想像不可能實現的「蔡習會」。
擬敦請辭去國民黨不分區立委，改任海基會董事長。對這項傳聞， 準閣揆林全說無法評論，蔡英文也沒有否認，想來有幾分可能。 但此事若為真，明顯又是蔡英文誤判兩岸形勢和北京態度。 王金平和李前總統關係極深， 他在立法院長任內幾度私下探詢訪問北京都無法成行， 顯示北京對王的態度。蔡英文如果真的找王金平出任海基會董事長， 外界將解讀是挖國民黨本土派出走，是延續李登輝路線。 不論哪一項，都是對北京釋放不友善的訊號，現階段， 民進黨最不該下這一著棋。
提出強硬的要求或荒謬的提議，破壞對方預期； 但前提是了解雙方籌碼的實際分比， 絕不能忘記實力才是最後攤牌的勝負依據。民進黨必須清楚認知， 兩岸談判自116選舉結束就已經展開，新政府每一個動作， 就算是意外、無心，也可能被對岸解讀為是一種談判策略或姿態。