New Tide worrying about cross-strait miscalculation


Mon, Jan 23, 2006 - Page 1

A study carried out by a major faction of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) concluded that there is a high likelihood of Taiwan and China misreading each other's intentions and actions -- to the detriment of cross-strait stability.

Chang Jung-feng (張榮豐), who chaired a "scenario study" session held by the New Tide faction, said members looked at various forms of interaction across the Strait.

Participants found many "blind spots" and calculated that there was a high probability of the two sides miscalculating each other's actions, Chang said.

Two scenarios were used to assess how each side would respond to the actions of the other. The first was set in 2007, with China using a major oil find in the western half of the Taiwan Strait to launch an offensive against Taiwan.

The second scenario was set in 2015 when a nuclear power plant explodes in Qinhuangdao on China's eastern coast, creating major domestic turmoil. The question posed was: Would China invade Taiwan to divert public attention from the disaster?

The participants observed that the US played a critical role and concluded that the "one China" principle would remain a center of controversy in Taiwan, Chang said.

However, he added, no conclusion could be reached on the question of whether China would launch a military attack in an attempt to restore stability in the event of major domestic upheaval.

DPP Legislator Lin Chuo-shui (林濁水) said such discussions were helpful for developing policy on China as lessons could be drawn and used to avoid misjudging Beijing's actions.

Other DPP lawmakers, including Shen Fa-hui (沈發惠) and Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇), said the session helped younger politicians better understand different modes of thinking on cross-strait relations.

They also said that opposition politicians should join them in future "scenario study" sessions.

The session was organized by the Cross-Strait Political and Economic Research Society, which is headed by Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳), a former senior aide to the premier.