Possibility of peaceful reunification with Taiwan is diminishing: experts
Published: Dec 05, 2020 01:32 PM

Experts discuss Taiwan question at the Global Times annual forum “World Changes and Challenges under COVID-19” in Beijing on Saturday. Photo: GT

Experts from the two sides of Taiwan Straits say reunification between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan will not be realized without pressure, and even peaceful reunification won’t be realized without military pressure.

They made the remarks at the Global Times annual forum 2020 held in Beijing on Saturday.

Wang Zaixi, former deputy director of the Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits of the State Council and vice president of National Society of Taiwan Studies, told the forum that the possibility of peaceful reunification of Taiwan is diminishing.

If Chiang Ching-kuo, former chairman of Kuomintang (KMT) had discussed reunification with the mainland 40 years ago, there would not have been any opposition within KMT, said Wang, noting that the possibility of negotiating peaceful reunification did exist at that time. “But now, as the island is plagued by party politics, one party alone cannot represent the island of Taiwan to discuss the reunification with Chinese mainland.” 

Wang said that although Chiang, who died in 1988, was against the Communist Party of China (CPC), he recognized one China, and shared consensus with Chinese mainland on issues like national reunification.  Today there’s less chance of reunification because Taiwan’s current leader Tsai Ing-wen even “doesn’t recognize one China.” 

People in Taiwan would set off firecrackers to celebrate if Chiang had announced he would discuss with the Chinese mainland about reunification, but the situation is different now, said Wang.  

The separatist Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the current ruling party of the island, would crack down on any party that may propose the reunification, Wang said.

Qiu Yi, a Taiwan-based expert on the cross-Straits relations and a TV commentator, said at the forum that whether the possibility of peaceful reunification exist or not, it depends on how to define the peaceful reunification. “If it means reunification without pressure from the mainland, then the peaceful reunification won’t happen. If it means peaceful reunification under military pressure, then it would be possible.”

Zhu Feng, a professor of international relations at Nanjing University, said at the forum, “We have seen enough political farce within the island and we attach no hope to the political forces within the island to change the status quo and make joint efforts with the mainland to realize the reunification.”

“The key is that to what extent China can dominate the situation in the West Pacific. As long as China has enough strength and influence,” reunification will only be a matter of time, Zhu said.