China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
April 19, 2016
Executive Summary: Peace is the only way to resolve cross-Strait issues. Tsai Ing-wen and the Mainland authorities must look to peace and the public welfare. Taiwan must offer a declaration acceptable to the Mainland. The Mainland on the other hand, must exercise restraint.
Full Text Below:
May 20 is fast approaching. Meanwhile disputes between the two sides are multiplying. Even those not paying attention have noticed the tense atmosphere. The Mainland says it will not change its policy of peaceful cross-Strait relations. But it has established diplomatic relations with Gambia, reduced the quota for Mainland tourists allowed to visit Taiwan, refused to renew the milkfish imports agreement, and extradited Taiwanese scam artists from Kenya to the Mainland. Numerous disputes have arisen between the two sides. The friendly atmosphere of cross-Strait interaction and understanding have been shattered. The Mainland is obviously testing Tsai Ing-wen.
The Mainland considers the political foundation for sustained cross-Strait relations extremely important. It is the basis for mutually beneficial cooperation. Ambiguity on this matter is unacceptable. Therefore when Tsai obdurately refuses to clearly state her position, the Mainland's only option is to send strong messages reminding the new government of the possible repercussions for cross-Strait relations. For the Mainland, Taiwan policy involves an either/or choice. Taiwan must clearly recognize the 1992 Consensus, and affirm that both sides of the Strait are part of one China. The Mainland can then allow cross-Strait relations to continue, business as usual. Otherwise official interaction between the two sides will be immediately terminated. The Mainland of course has no desire to interrupt private sector exchanges. It will continue allowing economic integration to promote political integration. It will unilaterally liberalize in order toattract more capital and people from Taiwan to the Mainland. Mainland China is confident time is on its side.
But cross-Strait private sector interaction is inevitably complicated by political turbulence. Cross-Strait private sector exchanges have increased exponentially since the past. All manner of disputes require government coordination and standardization. If governments fail to communicate, private sector frictions will inevitably lead to a chill or even conflict, further deepening political confrontation. In other words, without official management, private sector interaction will become risky and detrimental to cross-Strait peace.
Tsai Ing-wen realizes that the Mainland is pressuring her and testing her. She realizes how sensitive cross-Strait relations are. That is why she has yet to direct a single insult at the Mainland. Instead, she has constantly called on the Mainland to demonstrate goodwill, and consider public opinion on Taiwan when formulating Taiwan policy. This approach has been criticized as “using public opinion as a shield against the Mainland”. Nevertheless it shows that Tsai Ing-wen wants to avoid a blow up with the Mainland, and hopes to turn the situation around. Tsai Ing-wen has only one choice. She must adopt a friendly attitude toward the Mainland. She must not offer provocations or change the status quo. She must extend an olive branch, build trust, and take concrete action.
Tsai Ing-wen does not need to cave in to Mainland pressure. But she must speak plainly. Communications between the DPP and CCP are not good. The two parties do not trust each other. Misunderstandings are likely, and if they arise, will be difficult to resolve. Tsai Ing-wen needs to realize that when she demonstrates goodwill toward the Mainland, she may not get an immediate response. That does not mean that the Mainland is setting a higher price. It may simply mean it does not trust the new government. It cannot determine whether the goodwill gesture hides evil intentions. Since the two sides lack sufficient trust, policy must be crystal clear, and minimize any need for interpretation. The policy implications must be spelled out without the slightest ambiguity.
Tsai Ing-wen presumably realizes that the Mainland knows she is exercising restraint. It has yet to officially denounce her. The Mainland still hopes she will issue a clear statement on cross-Strait political relations, enabling the two sides to maintain the status quo. It hopes official exchanges can continue. If the Mainland's asking price for resumption of cross-Strait relations is too high, the public on Taiwan will react negatively toward the Mainland. Identification with the Mainland will diminish. Friction that sets back cross-Strait relations is unnecessary. No opportunity to promote cross-Strait interaction should be passed up. If Tsai can appreciate the Mainland's good intentions, she may be able to break through the bottleneck and seize a golden opportunity. She would then enable the Mainland authorities to justify their actions to the Mainland public. The political basis for cross-Strait interaction would be more secure, and less troubled by twists and turns .
On May 20, Tsai Ing-wen will deliver her inaugural address. We call on Tsai Ing-wen to issue a cross-Strait policy declaration acceptable to the Mainland. We hope the Mainland will not cling to dogmatic slogans, but instead interpret Tsai Ing-wen's policy declaration according to the law. After all, long-term stability in cross-Strait relations must be rooted in the letter of the law, rather than political rhetoric. It must be interpreted legally, not evaluated politically.
Peace is the only way to resolve cross-Strait issues. Tsai Ing-wen and the Mainland authorities must look to peace and the public welfare. Taiwan must offer a declaration acceptable to the Mainland. The Mainland on the other hand, must exercise restraint.
再不敏感的人也意識到其中的微妙氛圍。 儘管大陸一再強調推動兩岸關係和平發展的方針不會改變， 但從大陸與甘比亞建交、陸客來台配額減少、虱目魚契作不續約， 再到肯亞案的嫌犯遣返等問題，兩岸間出現這麼多糾紛， 兩岸互動的種種默契和友善氛圍都被打破， 這顯然跟大陸正在對蔡英文進行壓力測試有關。
是一切互利合作的前提，容不得任何模糊空間。因此， 當蔡英文穩如泰山堅拒明確表態之際， 大陸唯一的選擇就是不斷釋放強硬訊號， 提醒乃至警告新政府未來兩岸關係出現問題的可能後果。事實上， 大陸對台政策的處理原則基本是「零與一」的單選題， 要麼就對九二共識或兩岸同屬一中原則進行表態，大陸可以接受， 兩岸關係現狀繼續開展，否則兩岸官方互動戛然而止。 至於民間層次的往來，大陸方面當然不想中斷， 甚至還會繼續以商促政，擴大片面對台開放， 以吸引更多資金與人才湧向大陸。因為大陸非常自信， 認為時間是站在他們那一邊。
兩岸民間的互動難免會因為政治的波雲詭譎而橫生枝節， 兩岸民間往來的規模與深度遠遠超越過去，期間必然存在種種糾紛， 都需要政府層面的協調、處理與規範，如果政府溝通失靈， 民間的摩擦對立會不斷困擾雙方社會，勢必導致民間互動氛圍冷卻， 甚至引發社會間的衝突，進一步深化政治對抗。換言之， 沒有官方管理的民間互動，將使兩岸進入高風險狀態， 這對兩岸和平發展非常不利。
也清楚了解兩岸關係的極端敏感， 因此蔡英文自始至終未對大陸口出惡言， 而是不斷提醒對岸要釋放善意， 要以台灣民意為考量來處理對台政策。雖然這種說法被外界批評為「 挾民意對抗大陸」，但從善意的角度審視， 則可看出蔡英文確實不想與大陸撕破臉，仍然希望事緩則圓。 但無論如何，擺在蔡英文的面前只有一個選擇， 就是如何以友善的態度處理未來的兩岸關係，消極面要不挑釁、 不改變現狀，積極面要遞出橄欖枝、發展信賴關係， 並落實到具體行動中。
但有必要以更清楚明確的態度表明基本立場， 畢竟民進黨與大陸間並無暢通的溝通管道，也缺乏堅實的互信基礎， 很容易在互動中產生誤會，或發生誤會時無法及時化解。 蔡英文需要理解，當她對大陸釋放善意時， 或許暫時得不到大陸的回應，這並非大陸要價過高， 而是對新政府缺乏信任，不能判斷善意的背後是否包藏禍心。 在雙方尚無足夠互信基礎下，必須盡量降低政策論述的模糊性， 盡可能減少被詮釋的空間，有效而準確表達自己的政策意涵。
官方層面未對蔡口出惡言，換句話說，大陸對蔡英文仍然心存期待， 仍然希望她能針對兩岸政治關係做出具體的論述， 讓兩岸現狀能夠維持，特別是官方層面的互動能夠延續下去。畢竟， 對大陸來說，兩岸關係倒退的代價太高， 在台灣民眾對大陸負面觀感仍然強烈， 台灣的中國認同日趨淡化的背景下， 也沒有必要製造摩擦讓兩岸關係倒退， 反而應該抓住一切機會繼續推進兩岸互動。 如果蔡英文能夠體會大陸的用心， 或許就能意識到兩岸關係突破瓶頸的契機， 是讓大陸能夠對內有所交代，讓兩岸互動的政治基礎能夠得到保證， 未來就不會有太多的波折。
就兩岸關係的性質做出能讓大陸接受的說明。 我們也希望大陸不要堅持教條式、口號式的宣示， 而應就蔡英文的表述依據法理脈絡剖析解讀， 畢竟兩岸關係的長治久安要建立在法律關係，而非政治宣示上， 用法律視角解讀，而非以政治感覺判斷。
期盼蔡英文與大陸當局都能以蒼生與和平為念， 台灣要針對大陸的基本立場做出可接受的表態、 大陸也要做出最大程度的克制。