Sun, Dec 26, 2010 - Page 8 News List

In search of military consensus

By Wang Jyh-perng 王志鵬

This unofficial, non-governmental exchange — the so-called second track — differs from previous meetings between retired high-ranking military officers in that it is organized and has a direction and an agenda.

Although retired Chinese officers still focus on the idea of national revival as a way to resolve the Taiwan issue, retired military officers from Taiwan emphasized the need to set up a mechanism for cross-strait military contacts through non-military means rather than focus on the most intractable aspects of the cross-strait relationship. They expressed the view that cross-strait development should take precedence over the threats of the past, in the hope that China would take a more enlightened approach to the promotion of mutual trust.

Both the retired Chinese and Taiwanese officers had things that they insisted on, but the Taiwanese side rejected the currently optimistic Chinese view, stressing Taiwanese democracy and identity. They also suggested a multilateral model to facilitate stability in the Taiwan Strait and deal with threats that are not purely military in nature, including the removal of the missiles China aims at Taiwan.

It is certainly more pragmatic and innovative to rely on simulation analysis as a scientific basis for the promotion of practical and feasible cross-strait military exchange.

Wang Jyh-perng is an associate research fellow at the Association for Managing Defense and Strategies.


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