Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) and President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration committed several fatal mistakes during Wang’s landmark visit to China, in particular the failure to reject the “one China” framework and China’s unilateral rhetoric of a consensus having been reached, the opposition parties said yesterday.
Wang returned to Taipei yesterday after a four-day trip to the Chinese cities of Nanjing and Shanghai, during which Taiwanese and Chinese government officials held historic, but “unofficial” direct talks for the first time in 65 years.
While the institutionalization of government-to-government talks and the bilateral engagement without preconditions are welcome, Wang made several mistakes that could jeopardize Taiwan’s future and the interests of Taiwanese in the future, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.
“It appears that the Ma administration has willingly accepted the ‘one China’ framework as defined by Beijing,” Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), executive director of the DPP’s Policy Research Committee, told a press conference in which the party submitted its “five viewpoints and three questions” to Wang.
Ma and former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Wu Po-hsiung (吳伯雄) both mentioned the “one China structure” and the so-called “‘1992 consensus’ under the one China principle” last year, Wu said.
Unsurprisingly, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) reiterated the “one China framework” after his meeting with Wang on Tuesday without being challenged by Wang and his ministry, he added.
Another concern was a discrepancy between the two sides’ post-meeting press conference, with Wang saying that a three-point consensus had been reached, while Zhang highlighted a five-point consensus, but the MAC has neither offered any explanation on the discrepancy nor challenged Beijing’s claim.
One of the Chinese-version consensuses hinted that the completion of follow-up agreements under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement would be a prerequisite for Taiwan’s pursuit of accession to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which means China would decide the outcome of Taiwan’s effort in seeking regional economic integration, Wu said.
Former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) raised similar concerns in a press release issued by her office yesterday, saying that Taiwan should have “three insistences” on cross-strait engagement.
Taiwan cannot fall into a “‘one-China’ framework” trap, because Beijing has never eased its oppression of Taiwan’s international space with that ideology, she said, adding that Taiwan also cannot echo Beijing’s interpretation of its sovereignty and should not be too cowardly to voice its own claim to sovereignty.
The cross-strait talks cannot be conducted to serve specific political agendas, nor should they only serve as an arrangement for specific government agencies, she said.
While the Wang-Zhang meeting and the officials’ addressing each other in their official capacities have won praise as historical achievements, Chinese media still refused to refer to Wang using his official title and did not mention the Republic of China at all, Tsai added.
Contrary to the analyses of most observers and international media, “the Taiwanese people’s anxiety over future cross-strait relations appears to have risen after the meeting,” she said.