During his meeting with chairwoman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Carly Fiorina on Oct. 15, President Chen Shui-bian (
Actually, Chen was just making general remarks when receiving foreign guests. It was enough that Fiorina made a refusal to Chen's face; there was no need to embarrass Taiwan and blow the issue out of proportion in a written statement. Her straightforward refusal, however, shows that other than Washington, which is still willing to intervene in cross-strait affairs for its own interests, Taiwan does not have many friends in the international community. It is impractical to seek help from others unless we can regain mutual trust in the cross-strait relationship, cultivate a climate favorable for cross-strait talks, and change our negotiation stance and strategies.
Responding to Chen's National Day address, Zhang Mingqing (
From the perspective of negotiation strategies, however, both Taipei and Beijing are actually reserving room for the resumption of dialogue in the future. It just takes time, patience and a favorable atmosphere before it can materialize. Many people think that only Chen made a concession, when he suggested using the 1992 Hong Kong meeting as the basis for cross-strait talks. Yet didn't Zhang also offer a carrot, even though the stick predominated in his speech?
The stick in Zhang's speech was Beijing's dissatisfaction about Chen's ploy with the national title issue. His remarks were also harsh when he responded to Chen's statement that the Chinese military force is the cause of "shadows of terror" and "forces of darkness" across the Taiwan Strait. Over the past two years, Beijing has said many times that direct link talks should not involve the "one China" issue. But in a statement given on May 17, Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office said that "one China" should be the premise of direct link talks. In its response to Chen's Double Ten National Day address, however, the office said in a written statement that "if the Taiwan authorities acknowledge the `1992 Consensus,' cross-strait dialogue and talks could be resumed immediately." This showed that Beijing not only flip-flopped in its stance in the May 17 announcement that "one China" must be the premise of direct link talks, but has also made a written statement to this effect.
Chen proposed the use of the basis of the 1992 meeting in Hong Kong for negotiations. The most important basis used at that time was to put aside political conflicts and to talk about practical issues. On the surface, mentioning the individual interpretations of the "one China" principle by Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (海基會) and China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (海協會) in 1992, Zhang seemed to go against the Chen administration, as the latter has wanted to avoid the issue of "one China." Zhang, however, also mentioned that two sides should put aside political conflicts based on the "one China" principle in order to resume cross-strait talks and negotiations as soon as possible. Therefore, there is still plenty of room for negotiation, depending on how the US mediates and how Taipei and Beijing make concessions.