Sat, Sep 03, 2011 - Page 8 News List

Redefining cross-strait relations

By Liu Shih-chung 劉世忠

It is likely that Tsai will use her negotiation skills to delay such commitments until after the election, but the KMT and Beijing will work with Washington to pressure her, and could even take action prior to the election to help Ma.

China is also having problems. If Tsai wins the election without accepting the “1992 consensus” or proposing any alternative plan, would Beijing unilaterally end cross-strait dialogue between Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation and China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits? At that point Tsai would enjoy democratic legitimacy from her victory and Beijing would be blamed for undermining cross-strait relations.

The fact is that pragmatists in Beijing are taking Tsai’s unchanging cross-strait policies seriously and they understand that she will never accept the “1992 consensus” or propose an alternative plan during the election campaign. These pragmatists have already communicated with the DPP through the pan-green camp’s think tanks because they are thinking of ways to deal with a future Tsai administration. This is something to which leaders in the KMT, DPP, Beijing and Washington should give more thought.

Liu Shih-chung is a research fellow at the Taiwan Brain Trust.

TRANSLATED BY EDDY CHANG

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