Mon, Jun 01, 2015 - Page 8 News List

Seduction and coercion of Taiwan

By Leung Man-to 梁文韜

Before former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) met with then- Chinese president Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) in late April 2005, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rushed to pass an “Anti-Secession” Law, which says that there is only “one China” and that Taiwan and China belong to that “one China.”

At the time, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) did not echo the rhetoric that Taiwan and China belong to “one China,” but continued to use the so-called “1992 consensus” and the idea of “one China, with different interpretations.”

Ten years later, the KMT has officially adopted the view that Taiwan and China belong to “one China” as the basis of its stance. There is reason to believe that KMT Chairman Eric Chu’s (朱立倫) remark about Taiwan and China belonging to “one China” was not a coincidence, but the result of CCP pressure.

Although the government denies that this is its current stance, pressure from Beijing means that it is likely to be the guideline for the next president and government should the KMT win next year’s presidential election.

On the other hand, even if Chu denies the goal of eventual unification, it is recognized both domestically and internationally that the concept of Taiwan and China belonging to “one China” would expedite unification faster than “one China with different interpretations.”

There is no doubt that this is a way for the KMT to place heavy political pressure on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Beijing’s behalf.

The KMT is probably not going to win next year’s presidential election anyway, so as far as Beijing is concerned the smartest thing to do is to use the incumbent puppet to put pressure on the ones still unwilling to be puppets.

After Lien and Hu met 10 years ago, they issued a joint statement listing five points of agreement aimed at China’s effective annexation of Taiwan.

With the exception of the agreement to terminate hostility and reach a peaceful agreement, significant progress has been made on the other four agreements.

The agreement to hasten cross-strait talks has progressed from unofficial cross-strait exchanges to official negotiations between China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (國台辦) and Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council and the agreement to promote full-scale cross-strait economic exchanges and forge a cross-strait economic cooperation mechanism was achieved by the establishment of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), which fosters tighter cross-strait relations than the WTO.

As for the agreement to facilitate negotiations on Taiwan’s participation in international activities, that has been realized by the Taiwanese government’s initiative to debase Taiwan to a district when it applied to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the agreement to establish a periodic party-to-party communication platform was further confirmed by the meeting between Chu and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).

For the time being, it is infeasible to sign a peace agreement based on the planned foundation of “one country, two districts,” which would bring about the formal annexation of Taiwan by China.

This is especially regrettable for the KMT and in particular for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who nurtures a wishful idea that the 21 agreements signed with the CCP without the consent of the legislature can be equated with a peace agreement.

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