Mon, Nov 14, 2016 - Page 6 News List

The DPP faces historic challenge

By Annette Lu 呂秀蓮

Xi went further by departing from the script and saying that opposition to Taiwanese independence was based on the Chinese nation’s standpoint and that China’s 1.3 billion people could not accept independence for Taiwan.

“We have the determination, the ability and the preparedness to deal with Taiwanese independence, and if we do not deal with it, we will be overthrown,” he said.

Right after the meeting, representatives from the two parties held a “cross-strait forum on peaceful development,” during which they discussed politics, economics, culture, society and young people, and reached numerous conclusions, such as a cross-strait mechanism of mutual trust in military affairs, opening China’s stock markets to Taiwanese companies, using a Chinese view of history to promote peaceful development and improving services for young Taiwanese.

Immediately after the forum, China announced “41 key cross-strait exchange items for 2017,” which almost entirely focus on interactions between young people from the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

The proposals include expanding programs for Taiwanese students to do internships in China, offering high salaries to attract 260 university professors from Taiwan, attracting visiting academics, recruiting 1,000 Taiwanese entrepreneurs, setting up a NT$48.75 million (US$1.53 million) joint fund for cross-strait cooperation in science and technology, inviting 100 young Taiwanese to take part in a cross-strait youth micro movie competition, and holding baseball and soccer games. Clearly these activities are intended to launch an all-out united-front campaign aimed at young Taiwanese, who are said to be under the influence of “natural independence.”

No wonder Hung said that having set out with a warm heart, she felt even more enthusiastic when she came back. After returning to Taiwan, she announced that she was bringing benefits for the eight counties and municipalities administered by the KMT, including commercial activities such as visits to China before the end of this year to hold business and travel exhibitions.

Meanwhile, Zhou Zhihuai (周志懷), head of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Taiwan Studies, said that “the cancer cells of Taiwanese independence must be thoroughly rooted out,” adding that the door for the DPP has not completely closed, but is slightly ajar.

This was the first time since President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inauguration on May 20 that Xi has publicly stated his policies on Taiwan. They might sound like the same old story, but they also express Beijing’s consistent attitude, which Xi is pursuing with great determination.

Some people said that although Xi was shaking Hung’s hand, his words were directed at Tsai.

Xi’s meeting with Hung clearly expressed Xi’s strategy, which is that the CCP should join hands with the KMT to split Taiwan and bring about Chinese unification.

Tsai has not formally responded, except through her spokesman, who said: “With deepening democracy as our foundation, we will take forward-looking and proactive measures to promote constructive exchanges and dialog across the Taiwan Strait to build an enduring, peaceful and stable cross-strait relationship. Beijing authorities should face up to the reality that the ROC exists and recognize that Taiwanese have an unshakable faith in democracy. The leaders and governments of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait should jointly display wisdom and flexibility and work together to push the existing cross-strait divide toward a win-win situation.”

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