The signing of a cross-strait peace accord may not serve much of a purpose and could only carry symbolic political meaning, an academic said yesterday, adding that it should be replaced with a security treaty.
“Based on the statuses where both sides of the Taiwan Strait stand, even if a peace accord is signed by leaders on both sides today, it could still face challenges tomorrow, because whether the signatories would comply with such an accord has more to do with their respective capabilities,” Ming Chuan University public affairs professor Yang Kai-huang (楊開煌) said.
Yang said that because a cross-strait peace accord might only carry political undertones rather than serving substantial regulatory purposes, a cross-strait security treaty featuring clauses of “no independence [of Taiwan]” and “no use of force [by China]” could offer better protection to the country.
Tamkang University Graduate Institute of China Studies director Chang Wu-ueh (張五岳) said a peace treaty was generally signed by two or more hostile parties, such as Israel and Palestine, by two parties in confrontation, such as Northern Ireland and the UK, as well as by two parties voluntarily.
Peace treaties are no guarantee of peace, Chang said, citing as an example a closely watched summit between former leaders of South and North Korea — then-South Korean president Kim Dae-jung and then-North Korean leader Kim Jong-il — in 2000 that resulted in the former wining the Nobel Peace Prize.
“As such, the international standards for inking peace treaties should not be exactly applied to the accord to be signed by Taipei and Beijing, because the efficacy of such a treaty is determined by whether it is implemented thoroughly after being inked,” Chang said.
Chang added that for peace to be maintained across the Taiwan Strait, both sides should work to facilitate cross-strait exchanges in grassroots level and most importantly, among non-governmental organizations.
A former director of the Democratic Progressive Party’s Department of Chinese Affairs, Yan Jiann-fa (顏建發), said “peace” was merely part of Beijing’s “united front” tactics, rather than its ultimate goal.
“While the pan-green camp cares about Taiwan’s security, it is more concerned with the nation’s sovereignty, particularly at a time when China’s ‘united front’ campaign has intruded on Taiwanese,” Yan said.