United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
November 1, 2016
Executive Summary: Xi Jinping said, "If the CCP fails to deal with Taiwan independence, the Chinese people will overthrow it". The Tsai government must ask itself, "If the DPP fails to deal with Taiwan independence, will it lose the support of the people of Taiwan one day?" The Tsai government must consider the possibility that the 1992 Consensus and “one China, different interpretations” are its way out of this dilemma .
Full Text Below:
The Hong Xi Summit reaffirmed the 1992 Consensus, and took another step in opposition to Taiwan independence. It left room for “one China, different interpretations", and reevaluated the possibility of a peace agreement.
First, it resolutely reaffirmed the 1992 Consensus. Hung and Xi referred to the 1992 Consensus three times during the summit. Xi said that changes in Taiwan's political situation do not change the historical facts and core implications of the 1992 Consensus. Recognizing or rejecting the 1992 Consensus is the difference between acknowledging that China is one country and alleging the existence of two countries. On this key issue the Mainland cannot possibly give way. This means that Beijing will not soften its stand on the 1992 Consensus as a concession to the Tsai government.
Second, the Hung Xi Summit took another step in opposition to Taiwan independence. Ma Ying-jeou said that "no Taiwan independence" was a declaration of his own position. He said he "would not make wild statements regarding one China”. Ma did not explicitly reject Taiwan independence. By contrast, during the Hung Xi Summit, Hung Hsiu-chu explicitly stressed that her "peace policy platform would oppose Taiwan independence", and declared war on the DPP's Taiwan Independence Party Platform.
Xi Jinping reaffirmed the 1992 Consensus, the one China principle, and opposition to Taiwan independence. Hung Hsiu-chu openly declared war on the Taiwan Independence Party Platform. This reinforced the link between the 1992 Consensus and opposition to Taiwan independence. The Ma government, by contrast, linked the 1992 Consensus to “one China, different interpretations”. The Tsai government has never accepted the 1992 Consensus and “one China, different interpretations”. If one day the Tsai government is subjected to increased pressure from the Taiwan Independence Party Platform, it may prevent a wolf from entering the front door, only to allow a tiger to enter through the back door.
Third, in order to leave room for "one China, different interpretations", Ma Ying-jeou mentioned “one China, different interpretations” during the Ma Xi Summit closed session. During the Hung Xi Summit, Hung Hsiu-chu advocated "seeking common ground in the one China principle, while shelving differences regarding the definition of one China". Wu Po-hsiung first used this phraseology during his meeting with Hu Jintao in June 2012. Lien Chan used it again when he met Xi Jinping in February 2013. They never explicitly mentioned “one China, different interpretations”, but they were effectively referring to “one China, different interpretations”.
Hung made no mention of “one China, different interpretations” inside or outside the summit. Nor did she attempt to promote “one China, same interpretation”. This suggests that Hung's team knows when to advance and when to retreat. It also suggests that “one China, different interpretations” is not an arbitrary concept that can casually be dispensed with.
In fact, in November 2012, Sun Yafu, former deputy director of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, also spoke of "seeking common ground in one China, while shelving differences over the political definition of one China". This echoed the sentiments of Wu Den-yi, Lien Chan, and Hung Hsiu-chu. The Hung Xi Summit reaffirmed the meaning of one China and shelved differences. For this it deserves applause. Xi Jinping spoke of "the basis of the one-China principle". He did not slam the door shut on “one China, different interpretations”.
Fourth, Hung once again probed the possibility of a peace agreement. She hoped the two sides would consider the possibility of ending cross-Strait hostilities through a peace agreement. She spoke of the "possibility" because Taiwan remains mired in political controversy. Xi said the CCP's long held proposition is that the two sides can discuss a peace agreement on the basis of the one China principle. This shows that the two sides of the Strait have left behind the “no reunification, no independence, no use of force”, “Father and Son Ride a Donkey” mode of interaction behind. The two sides must agree on a goal. Even if the goal is not reunification, a peace agreement is still necessary. Can the KMT and CCP sign a peace agreement on the basis of "one China, different interpretations”? If they can, then perhaps a peace agreement can become the leading issue during the next stage of cross-Strait relations.
The KMT is not as strong as it was during the 2005 Lien Hu Summit. But the Hung Xi Summit shows that Beijing has no intention of allowing the DPP to assume control over cross-Strait relations. This has marginalized the Tsai government, just as it once marginalized the Chen government. A spokesman for the Presidential Office said, "We hope all political parties will unite behind the government on the matter of cross-Strait relations". The comment revealed the government's frustration and impotence.
President Tsai's comments regarding the Hung Xi Summit were exceedingly moderate. She once again urged Beijing to “acknowledge the existence of the ROC". But the Taiwan Independence Party Platform refuses to acknowledge the existence of the ROC. How does she intend to explain that away? She said "leaders on both sides of the Taiwan Strait must demonstrate wisdom and flexibility. They must transform existing differences between the two sides into a win-win future". Is she truly unaware that the 1992 Consensus embodies just such this wisdom and flexibility?
Xi Jinping departed from the script and said, "If the CCP fails to deal with Taiwan independence, the Chinese people will overthrow it". The Tsai government must ask itself, "If the DPP fails to deal with Taiwan independence, will it lose the support of the people of Taiwan one day?"
The Tsai government must consider the possibility that the 1992 Consensus and “one China, different interpretations” are its way out of this dilemma .
2016-11-03 03:15聯合報 聯合報社論