Cross-Straits relations face a reversal

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-4-28 0:43:01

Hu Sheng-cheng, academician of Academia Sinica and Taiwan "president-elect" Tsai Ing-wen's mentor, told the Liberty Times that Tsai would not mention the 1992 Consensus in her inaugural speech, but her wording would be acceptable to the Chinese mainland, the US and Japan. It's said Tsai would put forward that the new government would continue to promote the peace, stability and development of cross-Straits relations based on the historical facts of the 1992 cross-Straits meeting, the consensus of seeking common ground while reserving differences, and the current "ROC constitutional system." Most analysts believe Hu was not spreading a groundless rumor.

It seems that Tsai is determined to advance her ambiguity over the core issue of cross-Straits ties. She backs away from the current stance of the KMT government, while not directly jumping on the springboard of Taiwan independence. Since the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is pro-independence, it's widely believed the party would gear up to promote "Taiwan independence" rather than detaching from it after the inaugural speech is delivered. The prospects for future cross-Straits ties are pessimistic and the inaugural speech may herald the beginning. 

The key problem lies in the DPP's refusal to give up its pro-independence stance. Careful wording in Tsai's inaugural speech reflects the DPP's tactics:  giving the mainland no reason to react strongly and within Washington's permission. At the same time, Taiwan independence can be slowly promoted.

The DPP may reverse the trend of peace across the Straits, but at the same time, it has to bear the consequences that Taiwan's peaceful development will be interrupted. Without the 1992 Consensus serving as the foundation, most official cross-Straits exchanges will be cut off as well as economic cooperation. Wrangling between the mainland and Taiwan will be rekindled on the international stage. With a trust deficit, a minor friction can easily lead to a major crisis. Unless the DPP stops advocating "cultural independence" and desinicization, cross-Straits ties will go through a frozen period under DPP's governance.

Tsai may soften her tone, but refuse to compromise over the core issue. She has been ready to snub the 1992 Consensus and rebuild the relationship with the mainland based on DPP's dogma. The Taiwan question will not be solved in haste. It's a competition of stamina and determination. The DPP must be shown that any step toward independence will lead to a painful price.

Posted in: Editorial

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