End KMT-CCP Hostilities, Create New Cross-Strait Opportunities
China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
June 20, 2016
Executive Summary: A KMT that finds itself in the opposition need not belittle itself. It must have courage. It must be determined to prove its worth to the Taiwan public. If the KMT and CCP can make peace, then a KMT CCP forum makes sense, and a Hong Hsiu-chu-Xi Jinping has value. If the KMT can take this step, history will affirm it, and people will remember it. This may be the only way the KMT can return to power.
Full Text Below:
Ma Ying-jeou was in office for eight years. During that time his cross-Strait policy was "one China, different interpretations”, "no reunification, no Taiwan independence", "maintain the status quo", and “economics not politics”. This policy failed to end the 60 year long civil war between the two sides. It failed to create a stable framework for lasting cross-Strait peace and mutual trust.
Private sector interactions without a peace agreement are destined to remain unstable. Cross-Strait relations without mutual trust are destined to remain fragile. Ma Ying-jeou governed for eight years. Cross-Strait relations ended where they began. The party was over, and the guests went home. Worse still, Ma allowed the green camp to paint him as a cross-Strait pimp, “pandering to China and selling out Taiwan”. The result was eventual defeat and loss of power. This is Ma Ying-jeou's place in history. Put nicely, he was a well-meaning bungler. Put less nicely, he rejected heaven's mandate, only to receive heaven's retribution.
Over the past eight years, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party's cross-Strait rhetoric has not evolved. The party still clings to separatism. But once it felt assured of victory, even before the election, Tsai Ing-wen began parroting the KMT. She began talking about “maintaining the status quo". She substituted the "1992 spirit", the "facts of 1992", and the "acknowledgement of 1992" to win Beijing's approval. Beijing ignored her. As a result, some DPP members want this year's Party Congress to replace the “Taiwan independence party platform” with "maintain the status quo". But these expedients were rendered moot when the new Minister of Education issued an executive order repealing any and all corrections to the public school history texts.
The DPP's refusal to correct the public school history texts betrays the party's overeagerness. In fact, the original history texts featured "one version of history for each side". The so-called "fine tuning of the course curriculum” did not change this structure. It merely modified a few terms and added a few historical facts. Nevertheless the DPP considered it intolerable, and demanded immediate rejection. Ironically, this move touched Beijing's most sensitive nerve, namely the DPP's "cultural Taiwan independence", the instrument by which the DPP advances "soft Taiwan independence" and "creeping Taiwan independence".
The DPP's "cultural Taiwan independence" will make trust between the DPP and CCP over the next four years utterly impossible. Mainland intelligentsia are now concerned that “We will eventually lose Taiwan". They have concluded that the public on Taiwan no longer supports the Mainland's traditional arguments for reunification. Taiwan's rapid alienation from the Mainland also makes peaceful reunification virtually impossible. Therefore only military force can prevent a split between the two sides.
Cross-Strait developments truly are worrisome. The DPP cannot possibly accept the 1992 Consensus, which demands that the two sides be reunited. Beijing cannot possibly accept "cultural Taiwan independence" and allow Taiwan independence sentiment to reach a point of no return. Fundamental contradictions in political stance make trust between the DPP and CCP impossible. That means that over the next four years cross-Strait relations will be plagued by anxiety, even war.
At such a time the opposition Kuomintang's responsibility is greater than ever, even greater than when it was in office. It must make Beijing feel that peaceful cross-Strait relations are still possible. It must let the public on Taiwan know that only the KMT can prevent cross-Strait war. The situation is similar to what it was in 2005. Without the Lien-Hu summit and the five-point consensus, it is difficult to imagine how cross-Strait relations could have successfully survived the late Chen Shui-bian era.
When the KMT was in office, the China Times called on the KMT and CCP to jointly announce an end to hostilities or issue a declaration of peace. The two governments could then legally end the civil war. But in a democracy the ruling party's political position is not necessarily the government's. Such an action by the Kuomintang would not have been appropriate. Now however, the Kuomintang is in the opposition. It can reach a consensus with the CCP on the two sides' political status. The two parties can even sign a declaration of peace, and propose a framework for continued cross-Strait peace.
The KMT must have the courage to make peace. Can the KMT and CCP complete the above mentioned transactions? If they can, then the KMT, Taiwan, and both sides of the Strait can enjoy an historic breakthrough. First, the KMT can fundamentally distinguish its cross-Strait policy from the DPP's. Ma Ying-jeou's "one China, different interpretations", and "maintaining the status quo" served its purpose. In the wake of the Sunflower Student Movement, it is obsolete. Now that Tsai Ing-wen is spouting "maintaining the status quo" along with the KMT, the catechism has lost its rhetorical value. A KMT in the opposition must offer a whole new cross-Strait strategy. Only then can it justify its continued existence. Second, Mainland intelligenstia have lost confidence in peaceful reunification. They now think military reunification may be unavoidable. If the KMT and the CCP can reach a consensus to legally end the civil war, continued peace may still be possible. This would be the KMT's contribution to Taiwan. Third, if the KMT and the CCP can take the first step toward legally ending the civil war, the DPP may decide to follow. Only then can an official cross-Strait peace treaty become a reality.
A KMT that finds itself in the opposition need not belittle itself. It must have courage. It must be determined to prove its worth to the Taiwan public. If the KMT and CCP can make peace, then a KMT CCP forum makes sense, and a Hong Hsiu-chu-Xi Jinping has value. If the KMT can take this step, history will affirm it, and people will remember it. This may be the only way the KMT can return to power.
2016年06月21日 04:10 主筆室