Fri, Feb 23, 2001 - Page 13 News List

'Chinese Confederation' versus 'One China'

By Lee Chang-kuei 李長貴

A confederacy is neither the outright independence that Taiwan wants nor a unification under the "one country, two systems" model that China expects. Of course the two sides do not necessarily have to choose confederacy as a process of unification. However, China would think in terms of preventing Taiwan's declaration of independence by first incorporating Taiwan into an integration framework. Taiwan should think in terms of the price in terms of national security and economic losses in cross-strait cooperation, if Taiwan does not join the unification process through a confederacy. Instead of choosing an uncertain future and maintaining a long-term impasse, the two sides might as well choose a confederacy and a predictable future.

Wisdom to be tested

Confederacy would be a highly-refined political project. It would not only test the political wisdom of the leadership on the other side of the Taiwan Strait, it would also present an ultimate decision on peace or war to the people of both sides. In the past half-century, the two sides have undergone a process of civil war, cold war, and lukewarm peace. Now it is time to pursue a long and peaceful progress.

Lee Chang-kuei (李長貴) is president of the Taipei Times

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