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Feb 24, 2011

DPP thinks it up

The DPP just officially established a pair of think tanks.The Taipei Times reports:
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday introduced two new think tanks to enhance its policy initiatives while strengthening dialogue with China and the rest of the world....

The Economic and Social Affairs Research Center and the Security and Strategy Research Center are part of the party’s revamped New Frontier Foundation, created under former DPP chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄), and include retired government ministers and former representatives abroad.

The value of these think tanks as mechanisms for dialogue with China should not be underestimated. A great deal of communication and probing is done through academic channels and the DPP could use a few more of those in formulating it's China stance.

At the ceremony for the founding of the think tanks, DPP Chair Tsai Ing-wen also gave a speech about cross strait policy. While short on details about the future, Tsai's speech did place the cross-strait relationship through the lens of the international community and she sees Taiwan's current status as a result of modern East Asian history (read: not merely a Chinese civil war). She rejected political preconditions for discussions (read: One China) but said Taiwan must do it's part to maintain peace and stability across the strait (read: maintain dialogue with China). These think tanks are part of that effort.

I'm psyched about the think tanks and imaginative policy initiatives, but I wonder if the DPP can come to any further internal consensus on Taiwan's status and future which will be received warmly by Beijing. Unfortunately, Beijing holds the veto on that and has no reason to show flexibility with the DPP right now when things are going so swimmingly with the KMT. 

Feb 18, 2011

Su's "Taiwan Consensus"

I fully expect Su Chen-chang's phrase of "Taiwan Consensus" will end up defining the DPP position vis-a-vis the KMT come 2012, though I imagine we can expect some internal wrangling between heavy weights for a share of the credit.

Su's statement is summerized in this article:

Su Chen-chang believes that Taiwan has had four direct presidential elections; that it is a sovereign and independent country,  not part of the People's Republic of China; that according to the constitution, the national name is currently the Republic of China; that changing the status quo [thus defined] must be agreed to by the people as a whole; and that these points already form the broadest consensus [of cross-strait relations] in the country.

Is there a '92 consensus?

We all know the answer is no, and the evidence is in the open every day.

When Ma talks about the importance of the '92 consensus and "One China, two interpretations" to cross-strait relations, China reports it positively, but without mentioning the "One China, two interpretations" part. And it's considered a "good first step" by the Ma administration to tell public officials to refer to China as "the mainland" or "the other side" of the strait.

Feb 7, 2011

Thanks, President Ma, for reminding us that Taiwan officials should never use "China" but only "mainland" or "the other side of the Strait" when referring to the PRC.