Source:Global Times Published: 2014-6-26 0:08:07
Zhang Zhijun, Director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, arrived in Taiwan yesterday to begin a four-day visit. This is the first time that the head of the body has visited this land since 1949. Its significance in terms of improving cross-Straits relations is obvious.
However, we shouldn't place overly high expectations on the visit. A few months ago, the sunflower student movement took place in Taiwan, resulting in a halt to a planned cross-Straits service and trade agreement. When Zhang landed at the airport, there were people warmly greeting him as well as opposing figures wearing T-shirts with the slogan "Founding the state of Taiwan." Falun Gong practitioners also came to make a fuss. This represents the complexity of Taiwan's political ecology that Zhang has to face.
One major change in cross-Straits relations these years has been that the "Taiwan independence" movement has been restrained. But as far as unification goes, there is still a need for breakthrough events to pave the way.
In the future, cross-Straits relations should aim for two objectives. One is to prevent the resurgence of the "Taiwan independence" movement and the other is to patiently prepare for conditions to facilitate peaceful unification.
The mainland should hold firm to the belief that strength makes reality and make strength-building the cornerstone of its Taiwan policy. It's worth noting that the strength of the mainland has played a decisive role in the decline of the "Taiwan independence" movement despite its emergence in the 1990s. The mainland should make Taiwan recognize the destructive effect of the "Taiwan independence" movement on its security and prosperity.
Taiwan often interprets cross-Straits relations with a different approach. The benefits brought by the mainland do not necessarily receive a kind response from Taiwan in return. The mainland should not set too high an objective in its relations with Taiwan. Rather, it should have a pragmatic mindset.
The strength of the mainland cannot be directly turned into goodwill between the two, but it can create favorable conditions for such goodwill.
To make Taiwan sense the strength of the mainland, the mainland should try to find a carrot-and-stick strategic pattern. We don't need to focus on Taiwan's responses to particular issues, but should build up its strategic perception of cross-Straits relations.
Currently, opinions in Taiwan are bold, while the mainland has remained cautious. This needs to change. The tenacity of the mainland is much more than that of Taiwan, and the mainland should display such confidence.
The attention paid to Zhang's visit has far exceeded the attention given to the trip by Taiwan's top official on mainland affairs, Wang Yu-chi, to the mainland in February. The gap reflects the huge changes in cross-Straits relations and the regional political structure. Zhang's trip represents an improvement for cross-Straits relations.