China has been mulling three directions for its Taiwan policy since Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) took office earlier this year, including promoting political dialogue with Taiwan, Hong Kong’s Ming Pao reported on Friday.
The Chinese-language daily said that the first of the three policy directions aimed to take advantage of the time that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) still has in office to push for cross-strait political dialogue.
The report quoted newly appointed Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Chairman Chen Deming (陳德銘) as saying that “as cross-strait relations go ever deeper, the two sides eventually will need to look for solutions to our difficult political problems.”
This showed that China’s ARATS is prepared for cross-strait political communication and political dialogue, the report said.
Second, China is seeking contact with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to get the party to adjust its China policy and become more friendly toward China.
Although China does not have high expectations for contacts with the DPP, it will continue to seek such opportunities and will also strive to systematize cross-strait agreements to prevent them from being affected by Taiwan’s political arena, the report said.
Third, the report said China that has high regard for the role former vice president and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰) has played in promoting exchanges between the two sides, but that he has retired from political life and his influence is on the wane. It has become very important to find a political figure in Taiwan to replace Lien, the report said.
The article also predicted that if everything goes as expected, no changes are likely in China’s cross-strait policy until the second term of Xi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強).
Former Chinese president Jiang Zemin (江澤民) issued an eight-point proposal for the development of the cross-strait relations and the promotion of peaceful reunification in 1995, six years after he took office.
His successor, Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), made a six-point proposal as the country’s policy guideline for promoting the peaceful development of cross-strait relations in 2008, six years after he took office, the report said.
While it may be a coincidence that Jiang and Hu made a proposal after being in office for six years, it showed that Chinese leaders usually continue their predecessors’ policy toward Taiwan in their early years of power and craft their own Taiwan policy in their second term, the report said.