Xi engineers new Taiwan offensive - Taipei Times
Sun, Mar 15, 2015 - Page 8 News List

Xi engineers new Taiwan offensive

By Lai I-chung 賴怡忠

Riding the wave of the Sunflower movement, the DPP enjoyed success in last year’s nine-in-one elections. Not only is Ma a lame duck, constant infighting within the KMT means it is highly likely that the party will relinquish power in next year’s elections and might even lose its majority in the legislature.

Though the changing situation has put the kibosh on Beijing’s policy of “allying the two countries to overpower Taiwan,” it has nevertheless given Beijing a chance to re-evaluate the KMT’s failure to successfully promote unification, despite the favors China has bestowed upon the party.

Besides talk of upholding the “1992 consensus,” Xi clearly stated that the core of the “consensus” is the recognition that Taiwan is a part of China and that there is no space for “each side to give its own interpretation.” This clear and unequivocal definition of the “consensus” is directed at the KMT, intended to cut away at Ma’s position of “one China, with each side having its own interpretation.”

Whether a meeting will take place between Xi and New Taipei City Mayor and KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) or Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and others, is not clear. What is certain though is that these politicians must have their own thoughts about Xi’s messages.

Put simply, Xi’s talk of upholding the “1992 consensus” is aimed at the DPP, while his exposition of the core meaning of the “consensus” is directed at the KMT. Xi’s “three shared goals” slogan calls for “compatriots” on either side of the Taiwan Strait to collaborate in “moving forward and upholding peaceful development together.” Xi is sending another signal to the KMT that it should fulfill its responsibility to work toward the eventual unification of the two sides.

Furthermore, Xi’s definition of the “consensus” now rejects the two sides of the Taiwan Strait advocating their own version of “one China” — which Beijing equates with outright Taiwanese independence. Even if the DPP does not declare independence or freeze the independence clause in its charter, in Xi’s eyes, the DPP’s position is still tantamount to Taiwanese independence.

Xi has also expanded the definition of Taiwanese independence, which is no longer limited to an act that “threatens the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China,” so that it now includes any act that “provokes antagonism between citizens on either side of the Strait” and “severs the spiritual bonds between compatriots on either side of the Taiwan Strait,” implying that the above-stated “acts” amount to Taiwanese independence activities, which he views as not only the greatest obstacle to the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, but also “the greatest threat to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

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