Wed, Oct 26, 2011 - Page 8 News List

Finding a model for a peace deal

By Lin Cho-shui 林濁水

By exchanging sovereignty for peace, Taiwanese will only have transformed a lack of peace across the Taiwan Strait into a lack of peace between Taiwanese and their new rulers. If Taipei stakes its sovereignty on negotiations, it is bound to lose, and will lose everything.

Ma says a peace agreement will make peace systemic. However, peace agreements often fail to systematize peace. The Double Tenth Agreement of 1945 that brought in an armistice between the KMT and the CCP, the peace agreement between China and Tibet in 1951 and the 2005 peace agreement between Sudan and the south’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement all failed to end war. The South Sudan issue was in the end resolved by a referendum rather than a peace agreement.

Neither the Double Tenth Agreement nor the Sudanese peace agreement managed to guarantee peace despite intervention by the US and the UN. That Beijing is calling for a cross-strait peace agreement rather than a treaty makes it very clear that China intends to exclude all international involvement. And given Ma’s policy of placing cross-strait relations above foreign diplomacy, he would not dare call for international intervention. As a result, Taiwan will be dominated by Beijing because the “one China” principle dictates that cross-strait relations are strictly a domestic Chinese issue.

Peace agreements can, of course, yield positive results, as in the Basic Treaty of 1972 between East and West Germany and the 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement between Pyongyang and Seoul. However, neither the two-Germany nor the two-Korea model suits the “one China” principle of the KMT and CCP.

It is impossible to imagine that Ma would not know the differences between the German, Sudanese and Tibetan models. Since he believes a peace agreement is worth pursuing, he should tell the public which model he wants. Such a significant matter must not be muddled out of electoral concerns.

Lin Cho-shui is a former legislator for the Democratic Progressive Party.

Translated by Eddy Chang

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