Sun, Nov 22, 2009 - Page 8 News List

THE LIBERTY TIMES EDITORIAL: Negotiating Taiwan’s sovereignty

Since taking office last year, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has many times assured the public that his administration will deal with economic issues first and not engage in political negotiations with China until Beijing removes the missiles aimed at Taiwan. However, the Ma administration has reneged on this pledge, just as it has on so many other promises it has made.

In reality, political contacts between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have already commenced in various hidden forms.

The latest move was the visit to Taiwan of Zheng Bijian (鄭必堅), a key adviser to China’s top leaders, who is also the former vice principal of the Central Party School in Beijing and author of China’s “peaceful rise” doctrine.

Zheng led a group of heads of Taiwan-related research departments from Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen, as well as retired military officers and diplomats, to Taiwan for an academic seminar on the theme of 60 years of cross-strait relations.

Among their Taiwanese counterparts at the forum were key academic advisers to the Ma government, which gives credence to the belief that the seminar marks the start of twin-track political negotiations between Ma’s Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The 60-year cycle of the traditional Chinese calendar makes this period of special historic significance. This year marks 60 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

The anniversary was celebrated on Oct. 1, China’s National Day, with a massive military parade on Beijing’s Changan Boulevard and Tiananmen Square. The parade was intended to demonstrate China’s military might to the international community — and to Taiwan.

It conveyed the message that, while stressing economic development, China also continues to expand its military capabilities.

As time goes by, China’s economic and military strengths will serve as carrot and stick as it seeks to achieve its national goals through a combination of favors and threats. With regard to the international community, China wishes to establish itself as the world’s No. 2 power, supplanting the G20 with a “G2” consisting of China and the US on an equal footing.

Given China’s current status, the notion that a “G2” can replace the G20 is sheer boasting and delusion, but there are a number of pro-China politicians and media in Taiwan — including the Ma government — who applaud the idea. They are convinced that the only hope for Taiwan is to go along with China. Begging China for economic favors is not enough for these people. They also favor leaning full tilt toward China in politics.

At this juncture, a worrying scene is playing out. Earlier this month, Liang Baohua (梁保華), secretary of the CCP’s Jiangsu provincial committee, visited Taiwan in the guise of heading a purchasing mission, masquerading as a friendly Father Christmas bearing gifts.

At the same time, China’s theoretical and ideological troops are massing at the border, marked by the appearance of Zheng and his group of Taiwan specialists for the 60th anniversary seminar.

Speaking at the Boao Forum in 2003, Zheng sought to paper over China’s hegemonic aspirations by assuring the world that its rise would be peaceful. However, at the recent seminar in Taiwan, Zheng brazenly declared that “the Taiwanese independence trend will inevitably go into decline.”

This story has been viewed 4232 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top