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Jan 1, 2009

Round up

A good set of articles to round up today:

DPP rejects Hu Jintao's 'olive branch' (Taipei Times)

“As long as the ‘one China’ principle is recognized by both sides ... we can discuss anything,” Hu told a gathering of the Communist Party elite at the Great Hall of the People.

If the DPP gives up “splittist activities” and “changes its attitude,” it would elicit a “positive response,” Hu said.

In response, the DPP said in a press statement that Taiwan is a sovereign state, and its sovereignty belongs to the nation's 23 million people; hence, Taiwan's future must be decided by its people, which is the DPP's fundamental position and mainstream public opinion in the country.

DPP chair Tsai Ing-wen also said Taiwan's soverignty is under threat due to the "One China" framework, a conclusion that's difficult to escape. Note: as always, the DPP is not a group of crazy, radical independence activists. They just support that Taiwanese people should control the destiny of Taiwan. Try telling the international media that.

Besides saying that Taiwan and China could "discuss pre-unification politial relations," What else was in the CCP proposal?

China and Taiwan could at a proper time begin contacts and exchanges on military issues and explore a mechanism to build trust on military matters, Hu said....

“We continue to welcome and support Taiwan companies' business in the mainland and encourage mainland enterprises to invest in Taiwan,” Hu said.

Hu said he understood Taiwan's desire to take part in “international activities” but stressed China would not tolerate any move that suggested sovereign independence.

Military contacts are the beginning of the end, and the CCP knows it. Can you say "joint exercise aimed at preparing to take certain Japanese islands," anyone? And also do you notice the absense of a "mutual non-denial" flavor, a key Ma policy that he keeps insisting China has accepted?

OK, predictable responses and statements from both the DPP and CCP, but what did the KMT say? For me, the key point is in what they didn't say during their otherwise friendly response:

In response to principles listed in "Hu's six points" -- recognition of "One China," opposing independence and completing the unification of the country -- the KMT had no response. A party worker said that the KMT could not possibly respond to each and every point, but could only restate the KMT's position.
Typical of a party that's trying to pretend the PRC doesn't exist while engaging the communist regime on a party-to-party basis. Meanwhile, support for Taiwanese Independence is nearing a historic high:
CommonWealth Magazine found that almost one out of every four Taiwanese was hoping for the island to be truly independent, according to its 2009 "State of the Nation" annual survey.
Of the 23.5 percent independence proponents, 18.6 percent said they wanted independence while maintaining peaceful relations with China, but 4.9 percent said Taiwan should declare independence soon, no matter what Beijing's opinion was.
Only 6.5 percent was in favor of rapid unification with China, the lowest total ever in the magazine's annual survey. A total of 57.8 percent supported the status quo, the publication said.
Problem with surveys like this is, how do those people define the status quo? We don't know from data like this. My guess is most would answer "independence," or perhaps "unresolved," and the rise in the people moving from "status quo" to the independence column is a largely due to a realization that Ma Ying-jeou is a "One China, two regions" guy.

I should be clear on my personal stance: while I"m a Green kind of guy, I recognize that there are a lot of potential outcomes to the KMT engagement other than Taiwan getting annexed. None of those alternatives seem likely, at this time, but it iwll be very interesting to see exactly what happens and how public opinion shifts here over the next couple of years.

Additional news: nobody is looking forward to the post-Lunar New Year unemployment numbers.


Raj said...

Putting aside the matter of the disputed islands, why are military contacts the beginning of the end? And what is "the end"?

Unknown said...

I suppose under military exchanges like anything else they would have to take place under the condition that Taiwan/the R.O.C was a surboniate component of the P.R.C. So once the the Taiwanese military adopts a submissive posture and accepts Beijing's supremacy it would be hard for Taiwan to maintain a resolute position of self determination

Tommy said...


Once Taiwan and China are cooperating on military matters, the rest of the world will get the message that hostilities are a thing of the past. This means that Taiwan will, from the point of view of the international community, not need international support.

skiingkow said...


In the anti-secession law, it states that the Chinese military is obliged to take action when they see fit. (ie. when they determine that pro-independence forces in Taiwan have gone "too far" -- whatever that may mean).

How can you NOT fear this subordinate role for the Taiwanese military? And make no mistake about it -- it will be subordinate.

Unknown said...

Raj, from what I have seen the only thing that will be bring about a complete cessation of hostilities between Taiwan and the P.R.C is when Taiwan gives up every scrap of maintaining a sense of self determination. This would entail the scrapping and discarding everything Taiwan has come to represent in terms of having an open society which enjoys high levels of freedom in terms of media, (Taiwan has the freest media in Asia and is ranked 30th in the world compared to the P.R.C which is ranked at 167th) speech and assembly. Sadly Ma's pro China policy as his unbridled submissive attitude has resulted in a rapid erosion of this prized status which will only get worse the more Ma seeks to appease Beiing.

Unknown said...

@ Raj "And what is the end"

The end will be when Taiwan loses every last scrap of self determination and the C.C.P destroys the democratic institutions, autonomous legal system and free media of Taiwan. i.e when Beijing finally realises its goal of reducing Taiwan into "Taiwan province". If you fail to see the way Hu and his crew have no intention of acknowledging or respecting the will and opinions of Taiwanese society I don't know what is wrong with you.

Beway said...

Other than not coming with anything positive nor constructive, when will DPP ever agree with anybody other than their non-workable ideology.

阿牛 said...



阿牛 said...

Raj, I lean toward Thomas' explanation of why military cooperation is a bad idea.