When former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) roped the Taiwanese into his fight against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) after taking over Taiwan, his planners explained the CCP’s basic doctrine this way: “What is mine is mine, and what is yours is also mine. Some things are to be taken as common property and I will therefore take yours.”
China and its sympathizers would say that the wording of this outline was simply an attempt to stigmatize and demonize China, but I would say it is a fairly accurate way to describe the idea of “one China.”
During this year’s round of political meetings involving the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) and NPC spokesman Li Zhaoxing (李肇星) reiterated the position that “China and Taiwan both belong to China” and that “Taiwan is a part of China.”
Now, if that isn’t a classic example of “What is yours is mine,” I don’t know what is. I found it particularly rich that Li asked in exasperation how it could be so difficult to understand something so “obvious.” Of course, he was feigning ignorance of the complexities of the situation, adding two and two and coming up with five.
It might be obvious to him, but it isn’t to everyone.
People might find it easier to understand if he actually started making sense and spoke of the situation in terms of one nation on each side of the Strait.
Although China’s high-level politicos are reiterating old ideas, they can no longer be so explicit about them. They claim that Beijing has always approached any issue relating to Taiwan in the context of the “one China” principle, as is implicit in the trap they are setting in the negotiations for an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA). You’re not going to see the ideas of the “one China” principle or “unification” spelled out in black and white in the ECFA, but Beijing has already made it clear that these are understood to be part of the agreement.
Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) was being slightly disingenuous when he swore he would step down if the word “unification” appeared in the agreement.
The Mainland Affairs Council has also tried to play things down by saying that it has signed other agreements that were unrelated to politics and that the ECFA was an economic matter that had absolutely nothing to do with politics.
These issues involve the very survival of Taiwan as a country as well as its sovereignty, but there is no real consensus about them in Taiwan. Neither is there any real convergence between what President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is doing and public opinion. However, there is a clear consensus between Ma and China. I don’t think there is any real surprise, then, that his popularity ratings have been falling.
Once Taiwan buys into the “one China” principle, Beijing will be taking a mile for every inch given to it and say “thank you very much.” It will be reaping its “early harvest,” alright: a present of Taiwan’s sovereignty. It may even well mete out its concessions and remove the odd missile or two, orchestrating a “warming” of the Taiwan Strait situation and pushing for “peace talks.” This would, in turn, make all the more plausible China’s case to the US that there is no real need to sell arms to Taiwan.
If Ma truly supports Taiwanese democracy and sovereignty, he will hold a referendum on the ECFA, require China to accept that there is “one nation on each side of the Strait,” and demand China cease any further military intimidation toward Taiwan. China must not continue to avoid these serious issues simply by promising to remove its missiles aimed at Taiwan.
James Wang is a journalist based in Washington.
TRANSLATED BY PAUL COOPER
China has started to call Tibet “Xizang” instead of Tibet for several reasons. First, China wants to assert its sovereignty and legitimacy over Tibet, which it claims as an integral part of its territory and history. China argues that the term Xizang, which means “western Tsang” in Chinese, reflects the historical and administrative reality of the region, which was divided into U-Tsang, Amdo and Kham by the Tibetans themselves. China also contends that the term Tibet, which derives from the Mongolian word Tubet, is a foreign imposition that does not represent the diversity and complexity of the region. Second, China wants to
Taiwan has a very important decision to make in the upcoming presidential election. One party stands for protecting the integrity of Taiwanese self-rule, the other two main parties who stand a chance at winning both cater to China and, if elected, would risk locking Taiwan into a position of being annexed by China against the will of a vast majority of the population. Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, and the KMT all need a history lesson. Taiwan was never ceded to the Republic of China (ROC). The
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) had engaged in weeks of political horse-trading between high-ranking officials, hoping to form a joint ticket to win January’s presidential election, but it all ended in a dramatic public falling out on live television on Thursday. The farcical performance involving mudslinging and quarrels among three men — the TPP’s candidate and Chairman Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), the KMT’s candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘), an independent — and their aides in the evening before the official candidate registration deadline
Due in large part to the US-China trade war, Taiwanese supply chains continue to relocate from China and some manufacturers have increased the rate at which they have invested in Mexico to align their operations with the needs of customers and to comply with US policy. However, setting up manufacturing plants in Mexico is not without its complications, including the language barrier, different cultures, local regulations and finding qualified staff. Accumulating talent with proficiency in Spanish is the first step to developing the market in Mexico, and indeed Latin America as a whole. WHY MEXICO Mexico is a good location for three