United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
April 24, 2015
Executive Summary: If the DPP wins the 2016 presidential election and returns to power, what will happen to cross-Strait relations? Will the waters remain calm, as Tsai Ing-wen predicts? Or will or the earth shake, as Xi Jinping warns? Will the DPP ever change its cross-Strait policy? If so, when and how?
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If the DPP wins the 2016 presidential election and returns to power, what will happen to cross-Strait relations? Will the waters remain calm, as Tsai Ing-wen predicts? Or will or the earth shake, as Xi Jinping warns? Will the DPP ever change its cross-Strait policy? If so, when and how?
The first question is "Will the DPP will ever change?" The DPP is split into two camps. Camp One argues that the DPP presidential campaign is obviously going well. So why change the party's cross-Strait policy? Camp Two also argues that the election is going well. But it concludes therefore that the time is ripe for change. These two camps differ because they interpret public opinion differently. Those who oppose change, attribute DPP public support to hatred of Mainland China and support for Taiwan independence. Their focus is on short term election advantage. Those who advocate change, understand that the public expects more from the DPP. It hopes the DPP will improve. It hopes that the DPP will become more than what it has been. Their focus is on the long term.
We believe the DPP must change. As Hsu Hsing-liang said, if the DPP fails to change its cross-Strait policy, then even if it wins the election, it will not be able to govern the nation. Tsai Ing-wen would be insane to challenge Xi Jinping's political power when the earth might move. Moreover, the KMT's election prospects are grim. That gives the DPP a chance to change. More and more, the public expects Tsai Ing-wen to implement change. If Tsai Ing-wen seizes the opportunity, and realigns public support, she could pave the way for a return to power that transcends blue vs. green political divisions, echoing Wen-Je Ko.
The next question is "When should the DPP change?" On this there are again two camps. Camp One advocates change before the election. Camp Two advocates change after the election. Those who advocate change after the election, argue "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" The campaign is going well, they say, so why introduce a new variable? Those who advocate change before the election, also say the campaign is going well. But they way the DPP should seize the opportunity to realign voter support, broaden the party's power base, and change the party's policy commitments. This would, they argue, change the character of the DPP in one fell swoop, and make DPP campaign promises consistent with DPP policy implementation.
We believe change should take place before the election. If change takes place after the election, it will likely be the result of joint pressure from Beijing and Washington. It will be coerced change. Picture Tsai Ing-wen losing seven or eight diplomatic allies upon taking power. Picture the two cross-Strait organizations ending communications. Picture hundreds of direct flights discontinued. Picture hundreds, even thousands of Taiwan tour buses sitting idle. Why wait for the earth to shake before changing? Taiwan has already taken a huge hit. The damage done to Tsai Ing-wen's political prestige will be hard to repair. Why wait until the situation degenerates to that level before changing? Isn't that a blunder one would regret for the rest of one's life? Unless of course Tsai Ing-wen has already dispatched secret emissaries to Beijing and reached an understanding. No change before the election, but guaranteed change after the election. Put on a good show for Taiwan voters. Is that what has happened? If so, such under the table deals will only discredit the DPP and Tsai Ing-wen. They will enable Beijing to lead the DPP around by the nose That is unacceptable and must be ruled out.
The next question is "How should the DPP change?" Some advocate single-stage change. They say for example, that the DPP should freeze the "Taiwan independence party platform". Others advocate staged-change. They say the DPP should advocate "maintaining the status quo" and "adhering to the Resolution on Taiwan's Future". But staged change will allow Beijing take a mile when given an inch. For example, if the DPP reverts to the Resolution on Taiwan's Future, Beijing will respond with "opposition to one country one each side". If Tsai Ing-wen advocates "maintaining the status quo", Beijing will again respond with "opposition to one country on each side". In other words, no matter where the DPP seeks refuge, Beijing will respond with d"opposition to one country on each side", in which case the place of refuge will be blown. By contrast, single-stage change, such as freezing the Taiwan independence party platform, would better stabilize DPP-CCP relations. But for the moment that would probably be difficult to achieve within the DPP.
Therefore when it comes to change, the answer is still the 1992 consensus. In fact, between 2005 and 2012, Beijing often approached the 1992 consensus/one China framework differently than and separately from, opposition to Taiwan independence. But the Ma government dragged its feet in 2012. Therefore Beijing began linking the 1992 consensus to the one China framework. Now that support for the DPP has increased, Beijing equates support for the 1992 consensus with opposition to Taiwan independence. It has even added the phrase, "The Mainland and Taiwan are both part of one China." Because the situation has changed, Beijing has narrowed and clarified the meaning of the 1992 consensus. Now all that remains is "The Mainland and Taiwan are both part of one China," What does Beijing mean by "one China"? It has yet to openly define "one China" as the People's Republic of China, but that could be its very next step.
The DPP must revert to the 1992 consensus. If the DPP loses the 1992 consensus, it loses "one China, different interpretations". The ROC will lose the only remaining rhetorical basis for its sovereignty. Therefore the DPP must immediately freeze the Taiwan independence party platform. It cannot rely on the Resolution on Taiwan's Future and backdoor listing to resist pressure from Beijing. It must revert to the 1992 consensus. The DPP can of course continue to deny that anyone ever actually used the term "1992 consensus". But it must consider adopting Hung Chi-chang's approach. As Hung put it, "If the 1992 consensus refers to one China, different interpretations, I can accept it."
After all, Tsai Ing-wen is a Republic of China presidential candidate, running for office under the ROC Constitution. She is not running for office under the Resolution on Taiwan's Future. Without the 1992 consensus as a buffer, the DPP will no longer be able to advocate "one China, different interpretations". It will come under direct pressure to "oppose Taiwan independence". Such pressure is a cocoon that will leave the DPP with even less room to wriggle.
則兩岸政策何必轉型？二、既然選情有明顯優勢，則正是轉型時機！ 這兩種不同見解，出於對民意的不同解讀與側重。主張不轉型者， 是看出民意中的「反中傾獨」因素，也就是側重選舉的利益； 主張轉型者， 則是認知民意中亦蘊有對民進黨尋求提升及超越的期待， 是側重未來的發展。
倘不在兩岸政策轉型，民進黨即使贏得大選，也不能平順執政。 畢竟，蔡英文若欲以「地動山搖」的代價去試測習近平的政治實力， 不能被視為理性行為。何況，由於國民黨的選情不看好， 民進黨轉型的空間明顯增大，民意對蔡英文轉型的寄望亦相對升高； 蔡英文若趁此機遇重整民意結構， 可能為自己若重返執政建立一個超越藍綠的政權基礎，那就有一點「 柯文哲」的味道了。
主張選後轉型者，是因選情看來很穩，不欲因轉型而增添變數。 主張選前轉型者，則是認為在選情看好的寬裕空間下， 轉型可改造民意結構，深化政權基礎，改訂政策契約， 並一舉改變民進黨的體質，可使「選舉／執政」並顧，又有「選舉／ 執政」貫通之效。
極可能是在北京和華府壓力下，被架著脖子轉型。 倘若蔡英文上台後，丟掉了七、八個邦交國，兩會溝通停斷， 減少了幾百班次直航班機，又使台灣上百成千的遊覽車閒置路旁…… ；那麼，待「地動山搖」再來轉型，台灣遭受的巨創已然造成， 對蔡政權統治威望的傷害亦難彌補。若要到了那個地步再來轉型， 豈非「再回頭已百年身」？除非，蔡英文透過密使與北京商妥， 在選前不轉型，選後一定轉型，只是演一齣戲給台灣選民看而已； 但這樣的密使政治，必使蔡英文的人格與民進黨的黨格完全破產， 日後更將被北京牽著鼻子走。使不得也，切勿輕試。
另一種看法是分段轉型，如「維持現狀」、「台灣前途決議文」等。 分段轉型的困境在必使北京「得寸進尺」。例如， 民進黨說退回到台灣前途決議文的立場，北京回嗆「反對一邊一國」 。又如，蔡英文說「維持現狀」，北京仍稱「反對一邊一國」。 也就是說，不論民進黨往哪裡躲，只要北京說「反對一邊一國」， 那個地方即不是民進黨的藏身處。相對而言，一步到位的轉型， 如凍結台獨黨綱，雖較有可能穩定民共關係， 但在民進黨內一時似不易實現。
五到二○一二年前後，北京對「九二共識」與「一中框架」及「 反對台獨」，往往是分開講述的；但自二○一二年前後， 為因應馬政府的遲緩，北京開始將九二共識與一中框架並稱；接著， 又為因應民進黨的聲勢上升，如今已是「言及九二共識／ 必稱反對台獨」，再加上一句「大陸與台灣同屬一個中國」。 也就是說，隨著局勢變化， 北京已將九二共識這個原本存有模糊空間的概念，愈來愈明晰化。 現在剩下的空間只有「大陸與台灣同屬一個中國」，此處的「 一個中國」，北京尚未公開定義為「中華人民共和國」， 但這個潛台詞隨時可以浮現。
一中各表」都丟掉了， 台灣的主體性將失去最後一個只存在於口頭上的立足點。所以， 民進黨如果不能立即處理「凍結台獨黨綱」之類的問題， 又無法藉台灣前途決議文之類借殼上市的論述抵擋北京的壓力， 那麼最好還是回到九二共識。民進黨當然可以繼續否認當年有「 九二共識」這四個字，但仍宜思考洪奇昌所說的「 如果九二共識是指一中各表，我可以接受」。
而非在台灣前途決議文之下參選。若無「九二共識」的緩衝， 民進黨既失「一中各表」的空間，又直接面對「反對台獨」的壓力， 不啻作繭自縛，必將更加進退失據。