Sat, Oct 08, 2011 - Page 3 News List

January poll winner will face hurdles in China talks: Su Chi

Staff Writer, with CNA, Washington

Because of domestic differences in Taiwan, the winner of next year’s presidential election will face more hurdles in talks with China because of a diminished political mandate, former National Security Council secretary-general Su Chi (蘇起) said on Thursday in the US.

Su made the remarks in a speech at the University of Maryland in memory of the late Chiu Hungdah (丘宏達), who was a professor at the university and a well-known academic of international law.

Su said he did not agree with the views of some who think cross-strait relations would be under heightened tensions next year.

In China, there will be a political transfer in which the leadership of the nation would be handed to the next generation of officials, while on the economic front it would transition from an export-oriented economy to a consumer-based one, he said.

These factors, coupled with rising calls for political participation, would be enough to occupy China’s attention, Su said.

However, he also predicted that whether it’s the pan-blue or pan-green camp that wins the Jan. 14 presidential election, it would be only by a small margin.

This narrow margin means the winner’s mandate would be diminished and there would be more obstacles in future talks with China, he said.

Many of those who attended the speech expressed concern about how the sovereignty dispute would affect the progress of cross-strait relations.

China’s concept of sovereignty has been too rigid, Su said. Similarly, he added, everything in Taiwan could be related to sovereignty and one could often hear the phrase “selling out sovereignty.”

He said many countries in Europe are more flexible on the issue and that “the two sides of the Taiwan Strait should not be too rigid on the issue of sovereignty.”

He said the unification versus independence issue occupies the political lives of Taiwanese, but in reality, their lives have nothing to do with the issue.

The development of cross-strait relations should cast aside the disputes on unification versus independence so as to find space for coexistence in the gray areas, Su said.

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