Cross-strait peace treaty unnecessary, academic says

By Chen Yu-fu and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Wed, Feb 20, 2019 - Page 3

Noting that Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) had at one point warmed to negotiating peace with Chinese communists, Taiwanese academic Lo Cheng-chung (羅承宗) yesterday said that a peace treaty with Beijing is not necessary, nor trustworthy.

Lo made the remarks in the wake of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) comments on Thursday last week that the KMT could sign a peace treaty with China if it returns to the Presidential Office after next year’s presidential election in line with the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), which stipulates that only the government or its authorized institutions can negotiate agreements with China.

The Cabinet and Democratic Progressive Party legislators on Monday reached an agreement to prioritize proposed amendments in the current legislative session that would subject any peace agreement with China to a national referendum.

“Chiang had once said that ‘negotiating peace with communist bandits is like asking a tiger for its skin,’” said Lo, a professor of financial law at Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, referring to remarks made by Chiang in 1953.

In 1978, the Chinese-language Central Daily News quoted then-KMT chairman Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) as saying in a closed-door KMT meeting that “the party and the government’s unchanging policy is to serve the interest of the nation by fighting the communist bandits to the end. Compromise between nationalists and communists will never exist and there is no peace to speak of thereunto.”

Noting that Taiwan and China have traded and conducted substantive exchanges over the past decades, Lo said that “as the frequent movement of goods and people has shown, a state of peace already prevails across the Taiwan Strait.”

“The KMT’s calls for a peace treaty are senseless,” he said.

“Historically, the memorandums and agreements that exist between Taiwan and China are concerned with economic and practical issues, so the KMT putting a peace treaty on its agenda raises troubling questions about its motives,” he added.

Taiwan abandoned plans to invade China a long time ago and China is the only party that should be held responsible for contributing to the potential for war, Lo said.

“Instead of asking China to sign a piece of paper that guarantees nothing, the KMT should ask China to renounce using armed force against Taiwan and all plans related to that purpose, which would be far more useful,” he said.