Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Modus Vivendi that Embraces the World

A Modus Vivendi that Embraces the World
translated by Bevin Chu
November 13, 2007

Translator's Note: Although I translated the following White Paper by the Ma/Hsiao election campaign, that does not mean I endorse the premises adopted or proposals advanced by the Ma/Hsiao campaign. I agree enthusiastically with some, and disagree vehemently with others.

One. Preface

Long term persecution by the mainland authorities plus eight years of the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) "scorched earth diplomacy" have left the Republic of China utterly isolated within the international community. The Kuomintang (KMT) champions the adoption of a dignified, pragmatic, and responsive "modus vivendi" that will blaze a new trail for the Republic of China.

Two. The Democratic Progressive Party's Artificially Created Diplomatic Dilemma

Mainland persecution of the Republic of China's (ROC) diplomacy has been a constant for decades. It is nothing new. But over the past eight years, DPP misrule has artificially created a new dilemma for the ROC. The ROC has fewer and fewer international allies. Those that remain feel less and less sympathy for the ROC, which has become more and more marginalized.

The reasons for this are:

-- Diplomatic Amateurism: The DPP regime has no respect for diplomatic professionalism. It mistrusts professional diplomats with years of hard-earned professional experience. Its diplomacy is informed exclusively by Deep Green ideological considerations. Its foreign relations are determined exclusively by domestic election considerations.

-- A Predilection for Confrontation: The DPP regime's impetuous, rash, and confrontational diplomacy has frittered away the last remnants of goodwill other nations might have once felt toward the ROC.

-- Capricious Policy-making: The DPP regime's foreign policy is entirely subservient to domestic political or election concerns. It has obliterated the ROC's international credibility.

-- Stubborn Dogmatism: The DPP regime is pursuing formal independence. The result has been no improvement whatsoever in the ROC's international standing. On the contrary, the ROC has been demoted from "Model Democracy" and "Economic Miracle" to "International Troublemaker."

Three. Principles of Diplomacy

If Ma Ying-jeou and Vincent Hsiew are elected, the KMT will blaze the following trail for the ROC's diplomacy:

-- Defense of Sovereignty: We will increase contact with nations with whom we lack formal relations. We will attempt to establish formal diplomatic relations, and defend the Republic of China's flag, national title, national anthem, and other symbols of sovereignty on the international stage.

-- Economic Strength: In an era of globalization, diplomacy and economics are inseparable. Economics can help promote one's diplomacy. Diplomacy can help defend one's economic interests. We must learn to make wise use of our economic influence to expand our diplomatic space.

-- Flexibility and Pragmatism: As long as membership in international organizations is in the ROC's interests, the name we use is negotiable. In other words, we don't rule out the use of the "Republic of China," "Taiwan," or other names consistent with our interests.

-- Equality and Dignity: Participation in the activities of international organizations can be under various names, provided we are accorded equal treatment and enjoy equal benefits.

Four. A Modus Vivendi

We must think anew in order to establish new relations with the outside world. If Ma Ying-jeou and Vincent Hsiew are elected, we will put an end to pointless "scorched earth diplomacy." On the premise of equality and mutual advantage, on the foundation of the "1992 Consensus," which neither side has repudiated, we can begin pragmatic negotiations. Such a search for the greatest mutual benefit is our modus vivendi. Future bilateral relations or participation in international organizations need no longer lead to confrontation and the squandering of resources. Each side will contribute what it can. Both will benefit. Both will contribute to the global community. Such a win/win/win approach benefits both sides of the Taiwan Strait and is favored by the global community.

Five. Bilateral Foreign Relations

1. Strengthen Relations with Allied Nations via Mutually Beneficial Arrangments and Mutual Assistance

Most of our allies are developing nations. We must do more for them. We must provide assistance to them in order to establish mutually beneficial relationships. The Realist Model does not opposed developing relations with allies and other nations or regions, provided the process does not harm the interests of the ROC.

2. Rebuild Trust between Taipei and Washington, Consolidate Bilateral Relations

The US has long been the Republic of China's most important ally. The Bush administration has been the friendliest administration in recent history. After the DPP took office, mutual trust between Taipei and Washington sharply diminished. If Ma Ying-jeou and Vincent Hsiew are elected, the first thing they will do is restore bilateral trust and firm up bilateral relations on the basis of the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Guarantees. We will be responsible stakeholders determined to bear the burden of our own defense, and to buy the necessary defensive weapons.

We will open up cross-Straits direct maritime shipping and commercial air flights, allowing Taiwan to become the springboard to the Chinese mainland for US and other nations' businesses. We will reach agreements with the US on eliminating tariffs, protecting intellectual property rights, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, government purchases and investments. We hope to sign mutually beneficial Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) or Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreements (CECAs).

3. Support the US Japan Security Treaty, Improve ROC/Japan Relations

The ROC and Japan have long enjoyed close and amicable relations. Japan is an economically prosperous, politically democratic, and socially advanced nation. Over the past two decades both the ROC and Japan's political and economic environments have undergone huge changes. A new generation of political figures has debuted. Both nations must compare notes, increase mutual understanding, and develop mutually beneficial new policies. ROC/Japan relations require wide-ranging, in-depth exchanges and cooperation. The ROC and Japan must cultivate talent able to enhance bilateral understanding and improve bilateral relations.

We support the US Japan Security Treaty as an important mechanism for the maintenance of East Asian security. The ROC must establish strategic business alliances with Japan, and together develop the mainland Chinese market. We hope to sign Free Trade Agreements with Japan at an early date. We will adopt an objective, rational, and factual attitude while discussing controversial issues involving the ROC and Japan.

4. Love Thy Neighbor, Expand Asian Pacific Relations

As a member of the Asian Pacific region, we are eager to participate in the region's economic restructuring. We affirm and value ASEAN's recent achievements. We hope to sign separate Free Trade Agreements with its members. We hope to eventually achieve the goal of "ASEAN 10 + 3." We welcome peace on the Korean Penninsula and the development of stable relations between the ROC and Korea. We also welcome Australia, New Zealand, Russia, India and Canada's new orientation toward East Asia. We look forward to increasing bilateral, multilevel cooperation and relations with these nations.

5. Respect the European Union's Achievements, Deepen European Union Relations

We must strengthen bilateral relations with European nations. We must increase our exchanges with the European Parliament, obtain European Union membership and provisions for friendly treatment by the European Parliament. We must provide European businesses with better investment opportunities in Taiwan, and encourage and assist more Taiwan businesses to invest and operate in Europe. We must provide scholarships encouraging youths to study in Europe, and European youths to study in Taiwan. We must establish a "European Information Center" in Taipei, improving contacts with European agencies on Taiwan.

6. Obtain Membership in International Organizations

1. Promote our Return to the United Nations

The Republic of China is a founding member of the United Nations. After losing our right to represent the Republic of China in 1971, the Republic of China continued its struggle in the global community. In 1993, under KMT rule, we promoted our "Back to the UN" movement. We are currently promoting our "Return to the UN Plebiscite." These are merely two examples of the KMT's long-term efforts. We know that returning to the UN will be no easy matter, but unrelenting effort is a necessary ingredient for success.

2. Focus on Three Major International Organizations

Globalization means increasingly closer economic relations between nations. The ROC must aggressively seek membership in purpose-oriented international organizations If Ma Ying-jeou and Vincent Hsiew receive the peoples' endorsement in 2008, we will make returning to the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), International Monetary Fund (IMF), and World Health Organization (WHO) our prime objectives. We will first seek observer status, then official status. The name we use is negotiable, on condition we are accorded due respect.

7. Make Good Use of the ROC's Soft Power

Taiwan's geographical location is an important component of the Republic of China's soft power. So are the Chinese people's cultural values, free economy, open society, emotional warmth, multitude of highly active Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), and overseas Chinese distributed throughout the world. Once Ma Ying-jeou and Vincent Hsiew assume office we must make good use of these resources, injecting life into our modus vivendi. We must adopt an "any man's death diminishes me" outlook and provide humanitarian assistance to nations and peoples in distress.

8. Conclusions

The Republic of China's diplomatic policy must be predicated upon the principles of dignity, pragmatism, and responsiveness, so that we may fulfill our responsibilities as citizens of the world. We hope that the global community will appreciate the ROC's economic development and democratic achievements. That it will give the ROC the opportunity to join like-minded nations in creating a peaceful and prosperous global community.

If Ma Ying-jeou and Vincent Hsiew assume office in 2008, we promise to put an end to "scorched earth diplomacy," changing it to a modus vivendi that will blaze a new trail for the Republic of China. We are convinced we can create a win/win/win scenario in which both sides of the Taiwan Strait and the global community can coexist and prosper.

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