China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
April 12, 2016
Executive Summary: Democratic Progressive Party legislators continue to behave as if they are an opposition party. They persist in proposing bills having nothing to do with the people's livelihood, and which only intensify cross-Strait and blue vs. green confrontation. So far president-elect Tsai Ing-wen has maintained the composure commensurate with a future head of state. In cross-Strait relations particularly, she has not clung stubbornly to outdated thinking. She has been cautious with potential risks. She has adopted a steady and pragmatic course of action.
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Democratic Progressive Party legislators continue to behave as if they are an opposition party. They persist in proposing bills having nothing to do with the people's livelihood, and which only intensify cross-Strait and blue vs. green confrontation. So far president-elect Tsai Ing-wen has maintained the composure commensurate with a future head of state. In cross-Strait relations particularly, she has not clung stubbornly to outdated thinking. She has been cautious with potential risks. She has adopted a steady and pragmatic course of action.
That said, the clash over cross-Strait relations shows no signs of easing. The outlook for the Taiwan Strait is far from optimistic. Breaking news stories hint of an approaching storm. They cannot be taken lightly. Perhaps the most critical is Tsai Ing-wen's May 20 inaugural speech. This speech will tell us what her next four years in power will be like. It can be characterized as her blueprint for cross-Strait relations.
Recently Tsai Ing-wen's definition of the “status quo” moved significantly closer to Ma Ying-jeou's. She has reaffirmed her intention to uphold the constitutional framework of the Republic of China. For example, she prevented inclusion of the “two states theory” in the DPP version of the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations. She no longer categorically repudiates the 1992 Consensus. Instead she acknowledges two bilateral talks were held in 1992, and that they sought consensus and shelved differences. These represent concessions and compromises on Tsai's part.
The Mainland however, considers Tsai Ing-wen's concessions and compromises inadequate. She has not dispelled Mainland doubts. The number of Mainland tourists to Taiwan has been cut. The Tainan milkfish deal has fallen through. Grouper fish sales to the Mainland have been cut. The Mainland and Gambia have established diplomatic relations. These all smack of pressure on Tsai Ing-wen ahead of her May 20 inaugural speech. The message is clear. For the Mainland the 1992 Consensus is deal breaker. Either accept the 1992 Consensus, or acknowledge that "both sides are part of one China". The Mainland wants to be certain that the DPP will not misjudge the situation.
Interaction between the green camp and the red camp resembles interaction between a snake and a mountain. Tsai Ing-wen remains flexible. She constantly tests new ways to maneuver around obstacles. But the Mainland is immovable, like a mountain. The snake also appears to have reached limits. The Tsai camp has let it be known that she is unlikely to accept the Mainland definition of the 1992 Consensus without qualifications, or to affirm that "both sides are part of one China". This makes it difficult to be optimistic about the May 20 inaugural speech. The DPP and the public on Taiwan must be psychologically prepared for the coming storm. The only variable will be the magnitude of the storm.
Nevertheless Tsai Ing-wen's May 20 inaugural address, and subsequent cross-Strait policy blueprint, should diminish the severity of the storm as much as possible. It should attempt damage control. Damage control is one of the seven indicators that requires special attention.
First, she must address the false dichotomy between "Taiwanese" and "Chinese". Tsai Ing-wen has recently exercised restraint, and adopted a friendly demeanor. The Mainland has not budged however, partly because of her Taiwan independence mindset. Taiwan meanwhile, has built up considerable anger at the Mainland over the years. The terms "Taiwanese" and "Chinese" have become dichotomous, and the DPP has long fanned these flames. Tsai Ing-wen may be presenting a friendly face at the moment. But the Mainland suspects a two-faced policy of deception. Peace is built on a foundation of trust. Tsai Ing-wen has paid lip service to this. But it is time to live up to her words. She must make a heartfelt effort to acknowledge that being “Taiwanese” does not preclude being “Chinese” as well.
Second, she must pay attention to changes in the atmosphere between peace and war. The two sides must not choose war. Peace must be maintained. But peace also has a spectrum. Tsai Ing-wen will not find it easy to maintain a Ma Ying-jeou era peace between the two sides. At the very least she must maintain a Cold Peace. She must not allow cross-Strait conflict to escalate. She must not increase the Mainland's desire to "resolve the Taiwan issue, once and for all, without further delay”. She must not push the two sides towards Cold War. That would only increase the harm inflicted upon Taiwan. In this, the primary responsibility belongs to Tsai Ing-wen. But Beijing must also institute damage control.
Cross-Strait trade, Mainland tourism, and the attitude of Taiwan businesses, constitute three indices. They affect Taiwan's economy. But the results reflect social stability and public sentiment on Taiwan. They determine whether the two sides can cooperate, and whether Tsai Ing-wen can succeed. Cross-Strait trade and Mainland tourism in particular, provide the best indicators of cross-Strait relations.
The sixth indicator is Taiwan's diplomatic space. The seventh indicator includes sovereignty-related issues and regional security issues. These include changes in Taiwan's attitude toward the South China Sea. These indicators are not directly linked to people's daily lives. But they are the first and second indicators of improvement or deterioration in cross-Strait relations. Tsai Ing-wen must carefully manage the triangular relationship between Washington, Beijing, and Taipei. She must balanced it wisely. She must not be so unwise as to choose sides and upset the balance.
The storm may well roll in after May 20. But leaders on both sides must institute damage control. They must have wisdom and tolerance. After May 20, the two sides must maintain peaceful exchanges. They must remain on a pragmatic path. Official exchanges may be affected, even interrupted. But Tsai Ing-wen must continue to seek common ground between green and red. She must not close the door to communications.
People to people cross-Strait exchanges are the link that will promote emotional bonds across the Strait. They must be maintained.
只會激化藍綠及兩岸對立的法案或議題， 但準總統蔡英文到目前為止， 大致表現出冷靜自制的準國家元首高度。尤其在兩岸關係上， 她沒有頑守過去走不通的主張，小心謹慎應對潛存的風險， 選擇走務實穩健的路線。
台海前景難以樂觀。近來兩岸若干新聞事件， 都隱隱然有一股山雨欲來的晦暗之兆，不容掉以輕心。 其中最關鍵的，就是蔡英文的520就職演說， 這場演說將成為她未來4年執政的「預言」， 可謂兩岸關係的推背圖。
路線靠攏，屢屢重申遵守中華民國憲政體制。譬如，在民進黨版「 兩岸協議監督條例」中出手阻擋「兩國論」入法； 對九二共識的態度也從斷然不承認， 修正為接受九二年兩岸兩會會談的歷史事實， 以及雙方求同存異的共同認知。凡此種種， 都是蔡英文的讓步與妥協。
並未盡袪除陸方對民進黨與她的不信任，不論是陸客來台減少、 台南虱目魚契作的告吹、台灣石斑魚銷陸的減量、 陸方與甘比亞的建交，這些都不無對蔡英文520演講作「 壓力測試」的意味。目的在於傳遞清楚的訊息，大陸對於「 九二共識」是滴水難穿的鐵板一塊，不接受九二共識，就要接受「 兩岸同屬一中」，要民進黨切莫誤判。
不斷迂迴測試新的公約帶，但陸方不動如山。 但蛇的柔軟也有其極限，目前看來， 蔡英文陣營釋出的訊息似也透露， 要蔡英文百分之百接受陸方所認知界定的「九二共識」或「 同屬一中」機會不大。若然，520就職演說的結果， 就很難是一個「樂觀」的版本。 民進黨乃至台灣民眾恐怕都必須有山雨將來的心理準備，所差別者， 恐怕只是雨勢大小的問題。
蔡英文近來表現友善自制，陸方之所以仍一步不讓， 部分是因為陸方對蔡英文的「心靈台獨」抱持疑慮， 而台灣這些年來堆高的反中怒火，讓「台灣人」與「中國人」 成為對立符號，民進黨也長期扮演著煽火者的角色， 故即便蔡英文此刻示意友善， 陸方仍懷疑這是明暗兩手的緩兵欺敵之策。 和平交流的前提是建立雙方互信，對此，蔡英文除了「口惠」， 更要展現「實至」的誠意。 努力讓台灣人認同也可以和中國人的認同融合。
兩岸不會選擇戰爭，和平格局應是必然，但和平也有「冷熱光譜」 之分。蔡英文上台後， 要保持馬英九時代兩岸間的熱絡與和平恐不容易， 但至少要能維持起碼的「冷和」，不要讓雙方的對立激化， 加深大陸「不再拖延台灣問題」的傾向，使得冷和光譜破底向「 冷戰」光譜移動，這勢將擴大台灣的損害面。這一方面， 主要責任在蔡英文政府，但北京也應留意控管。
其本質影響的是台灣經濟， 但結果將反射到台灣的社會安定以及民心向背， 都將構成兩岸能否維持合作，以及蔡英文的執政能否成功的因素。 尤其兩岸貿易與陸客觀光指標最能反映兩岸關係的冷熱光譜。
第七個指標是包括南海議題在內的涉主權區域安全議題上， 台灣的態度變化。這二個指標，未必直接與人民的生活連動， 卻會是第一、第二指標改善或惡化的循環連動指標。 蔡英文也必須慎處，特別是在美、中、台的三角關係中，要有「 平衡」的智慧，勿輕易做出不智的選邊與失衡的激化。
控管損害」的智慧和氣度。520後兩岸仍須回到維持和平交流的務 實路線，即便目前看來，官方交流可能會受到影響，乃至於中斷， 但蔡英文仍應持續尋求綠紅的新共同帶，勿將溝通大門關上。