The 1981 People's Daily editorial lays out the nine objectives of the CPP when it comes to unification pretty well. And they are moving toward their objectives pretty well, too. Here they are, roughly translated:
(1) In order to achieve a rapid end to the unfortunate split between the Chinese people, we suggest holding talks between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on equal footing in order to realize the Third United Front and work together toward the great task of unifying the motherland. The two sides can send contacts to fully exchange ideas.Status: check.
(2) All people on both sides of the Taiwan strait hope for a resumption to communication, visiting of relatives, trade relations and increased understanding. We suggest that both sides work toward signing agreements for establishment postal links, shipping, direct flights, visiting of relatives, tourism and artistic, cultural and educational exchanges.Status: check.
(3) After the unification of the country, Taiwan will be a special administrative region and can maintain a high degree of autonomy, and may even keep its own army [A-Gu: Deng mentioned "as long as it doesn't threaten China"]. The central government will not interfere in Taiwan's internal affairs.Status: waiting on the "unification" part, but I don't see much difference between this and Ma's current policy of downplaying military exercises and total foot dragging on the arms purchase, which may well be the last one.
(4) The social and economic system employed Taiwan now would not change, their way of life would not change, and Taiwan's economic and cultural relations with foreign countries would not change. Private property, homes, land and industry would have the right to continue legal agreements with foreign investors.Status: well, this is more of a promise to alleviate fear of unification, and short of an invasion it will naturally be kept. And notice that China, like Ma, doesn't want Taiwan to have chance for formal relations with foreign countries here. So, check.
(5) The Taiwan authorities and representatives from every sphere may have positions of leadership in the political system of China and may participate in national administration.Status: almost! Really, who knows, they could come work here as civil servants too...
(6) When there are economic or political difficulties in the Taiwan region, the central government will be willing to assist.Status: check.
(7) Taiwan compatriots of all fields and ethnicities who wish to move back to China will be protected, not be discriminated against and will have freedom of movement.Status: check. And that's a good thing, of course.
(8) We welcome Taiwanese business to come back to the motherland and invest in the mainland, including those businesses from all sectors, and we will guarantee legal protection of their rights.Status: check; at least, they've been more protected than most foreign businessmen or regular Chinese investors.
(9) Everyone has a responsibility to help unify the motherland. We enthusiastically welcome suggestions and efforts of achieving this great goal from Taiwanese of all stripes, people from all sectors and civic organizations.Status: no doubt, check! Or, search the bottom of this page for KMT distaste of the whole idea of "self-determination." And these exchanges between Ma and Chen are fascinating, with Chen emphasizing Taiwan's right to determine its future by referendum while Ma emphasizes that the ROC government does and should claim China, hence the need for "one China, two interpretations."
It seems to me with all the basics covered now, there really is only one place to go from here: negotiations for a peace treaty, which without doubt, would be seen as an important precursor toward formal unification in a "one country, two systems" framework.
Don't think they've given up on it.