Sun, Apr 05, 2015 - Page 8 News List

Taiwan’s bottom line in Strait talks

By Michael Hsiao 蕭新煌

Unfortunately, President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration has continuously and ignorantly echoed the latter half of the “1992 consensus,” the part that talks about “different interpretations,” in an attempt to fool itself and others. Former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) has been in the front line of the Ma camp; he thought he had won China’s permission to come up with a consensus that allowed different interpretations. Several commentators with a pro-China stance have praised the “1992 consensus” saying that it is a “useful fiction,” but that is more likely to be just a tactic to take China’s side and hoodwink Taiwan.

Nonetheless, a cursory examination of cross-strait relations over the past six years reveals that the ROC, or Taiwan, has not received the slightest respect from the PRC in their exchanges based on the “1992 consensus.”

One must also ask whether Taiwan has gained more space for its political and economic survival in the international community, or whether the president, vice president, premier and ministers of the ROC, or Taiwan, have been given more opportunities or freedom to take part in international organizations or in a diplomatic context. The answer is no.

Under the fictional “1992 consensus,” the Ma administration has not come back to its senses, and is even more ignorant. After being oppressed and bullied, the Ma administration is cheerfully claiming that finally the two sides have made positive progress, shamelessly lying to Taiwanese saying that for the past six years, cross-strait relations have been stable and peaceful.

However, anyone with a clear mind knows that for the past six years, Taiwan has consistently been oppressed. At the same time, the two sides have created a completely fictional impression of peace. The reason is that the Taiwanese government is too weak and keeps trying to appease China. China, of course, enjoys this kind of peace and stability because it can have its own way.

For the past six years, the winner has always been China, and the loser Taiwan. China can unilaterally decide to open flight routes which run close to the median line of the Taiwan Strait and even tell Taiwan’s president how to travel when offering condolences to important figures overseas.

However, the Ma administration does not seem to think that there is anything wrong with that — they even feel good about it. Neither have they actively fought for Taiwan’s interests in cross-strait exchanges, and have let China take all the advantages while leaving Taiwanese in a condition they are angry about but powerless to change.

This resulted in protests led by young Taiwanese and civic society which gave rise to the epoch-making Sunflower movement.

Taiwanese can obviously no longer accept the bottom lines unilaterally drawn by the KMT and the CCP. The sensible thing for Taiwan to do is come up with its own bottom lines, which could form the basis for cross-strait negotiations.

In fact, over the past decade the public have made clear the following bottom lines with regard to negotiations with Beijing:

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