Fri, Jul 29, 2011 - Page 8 News List

The Liberty Times Editorial: A vote for Ma is a vote for China

The results of the next presidential election will be known on Jan. 14. Whether President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) wins again or Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is elected, it is hard to say what will happen to Taiwan politically. This topic has recently received a lot of attention.

Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has suggested that during the presidential election debate, Tsai should ask Ma whether he will peacefully hand over power if he loses the election.

However, the problem is more complex than that. What Taiwanese, both the pan-blue and pan-green camps, should focus on is whether the move toward unification with China will be accelerated if the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) wins and whether the KMT will do everything in its power to invite China into Taiwan if it loses.

The KMT has lost the public’s trust, not only because of its poor political record, but also because the impending handover of power to a new generation of leaders in Beijing poses a new threat to Taiwan.

Many are aware that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will be holding its 18th Central Committee meeting on Oct. 8 next year, which will set the scene for Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) to hand the reins of government to Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (習近平).

Having led China for almost a decade, what will Hu want his legacy to be at the end of his time in office and how will he want to be remembered?

This is a huge issue that needs careful consideration. What might Hu do if he is not content with the way things are going between the KMT and the CCP? This is why January’s presidential election is so important.

Put simply, there are two possible outcomes. Either Ma will be re-elected or Tsai will become the new president. Let us look at the first, the graver of the two. If Ma is re-elected, Hu will make stronger demands for negotiations. What is it that the CCP and the KMT want to discuss?

At the end of 2008, Hu’s six-point proposal on cross-strait relations made things clear. Last year, the 17th Central Committee meeting of the CCP approved the 12th Five-Year Plan, which clearly listed three goals in the achievement of “peaceful unification.”

These three goals covered politics, economics, and cultural and educational exchanges.

The first involves establishing a political framework for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, the second involves the realization of a framework for cross-strait economic cooperation and the third involves strengthening cultural and educational exchanges between Taiwan and China.

Ma began working on the last two of these goals just after coming into office.

All he has left to do now is establish a political framework which would be the “peace agreement” that China wishes to sign under the “one China” principle.

If Hu demands that a newly re-elected Ma “pay back” the CCP for all the “help” it gave Ma to get him re-elected, Ma could do two things.

First, he could join Hu in completing his “historic mission,” a course of action that would also see him complete his own. The communique that Hu and former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) devised in 2005 outlined the sequence of cross-strait integration as creating a mutual military trust mechanism, a peace agreement and then a “final solution” on cross-strait relations, with an emphasis on moving from economic integration to political unification.

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