In finally unveiling his cross-strait policy yesterday, independent presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) proposed that Taiwan and China sign a 30-year "mutual non-aggression peace treaty," which would be followed by a 20-year agreement basing relations on a European Union model.
Soong's running mate, Chang Chao-hsiung (
But political analysts said such a scheme would never be acceptable to China as it would entail recognizing Taiwan as an equal.
PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES
Soong also proposed that cross-strait relations be based on a "quasi-international relationship under relevant sovereignty (
Using such a definition, Soong called for both sides of the Taiwan Strait to sign a non-aggression pact, countries such as the US, Japan and ASEAN members.
When the 30-year agreement expires, both parties -- if they are not interested in changing the status quo -- should sign another 20-year agreement defining their relations based on the model of the European Union and in the status of sovereign nations, Soong said.
After that, he said, the people of Taiwan should determine whether to continue the process of integration.
When asked under what status Taiwan should sign the proposed 30-year non-aggression treaty with China, Chang replied: "Under the status of a nation. Signatories should be under the names of the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China."
This would never be palatable to China, according to political analysts.
"The real question here is China's attitude," said Joseph Wu (
Other scholars agreed.
"I'm afraid Beijing is not going to accept such a proposal. It's still a stalemate," said Hsu Szu-chien (
Hsu was equally scathing of Soong's rivals, however.
"None of these irresponsible presidential candidates has so far put forward any feasible proposal for dealing with the problem of cross-strait relations," Hsu said. "Candidates have to face the fact that there is a crisis, and they should be creative in devising ways to deal with it. The key is to involve the US and other Western countries, to use international frameworks such as the WTO, and forces for reform inside China."
Soong also took the occasion yesterday to rebut criticism from his opponents that he had been vague in his China policy.
"I am not ambiguous. I am neither for hasty unification nor for hasty independence, both of which are not mainstream ideas in Taiwan," Soong said. "My cross-strait policy is unambiguously aligned with mainstream public opinion in Taiwan."
While candidates try to pick holes in their rivals' China policies and to promote their own as somehow different, analysts said that all three of the main candidates' positions are virtually the same.
"In essence, all three are no different in their China policy," Wu said. "But this is good. It shows that people in Taiwan have built a strong consensus on the issue."
WHEELING AND DEALING? Hou You-yi, Ko Wen-je, Eric Chu and Ma Ying-jeou are under investigation for allegedly offering bribes for the other side to drop out of the race Taipei prosecutors have started an investigation into allegations that four top politicians involved in attempts to form a “blue-white” presidential ticket have contravened election regulations. Listed as defendants are Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the KMT and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲). The case stemmed from judicial complaints filed last month with the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleging that the KMT (blue) and the TPP (white) had engaged in bribery by offering money or other enticements
COUNTER DISINFORMATION: More engagement and media literacy are needed to push back against misinformation and claims that the US is an unreliable partner, the AIT director said The US is “confident” that Taiwan does not face an imminent threat of a Chinese invasion, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk told a US public radio show, adding that Washington remains committed to defensively arming the nation. She made the comment during an interview on All Things Considered, broadcast on Friday on US-based National Public Radio. “There is an important distinction between making plans and training troops, and getting ready to do something,” Oudkirk said, on whether she thinks Beijing plans to attack Taiwan in the near future. Chinese officials have told Washington that “their preference is for peaceful reunification,
EXPOSED: Some Taipei wardens reported joining the trips out of peer pressure, while others said they were relieved it was made public so they could refuse, a city councilor said Nearly 30 percent of Taipei borough wardens have joined group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government, leading prosecutors probing potential Chinese interference in January’s elections to question local officials, an investigation showed. Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City councilors Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) and Chen E-jun (陳怡君) have reported cases of Taipei borough wardens inviting residents to join inexpensive privately organized group tours to China that were partially funded by the Chinese government. The six-day trips reportedly cost NT$10,000 to NT$15,000, the councilors said. An investigation by the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) showed that nearly 30 percent
ELIGIBLE FOR JANUARY: All presidential candidates and their running mates meet the requirements to run for office, and none hold dual citizenship, the CEC said Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Legislator and vice presidential candidate Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈) is working with the Central Election Commission (CEC) to resolve issues with her financial disclosure statement, a spokesman for the candidate said yesterday, after the commission published the statements of all three presidential candidates and their running mates, while confirming their eligibility to run in the Jan. 13 election. Wu’s office spokesman, Chen Yu-cheng (陳宥丞), said the candidate encountered unforeseen difficulties disclosing her husband’s finances due to being suddenly thrust into the campaign. She is also the first vice presidential nominee to have a foreign spouse, complicating the reporting of