China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
December 1st, 2015
Executive Summary: Cross-Strait relations have developed to the stage where they can no longer go back. Tsai must set aside unrealistic expectations about choosing sides. She must act to preserve the existing cross-Strait protocols, and improve cross-Strait relations. Voters must be vigilant about the DPP's cross-Strait policy. They must apply pressure on the presidential candidates, to prevent them from leading the country in the wrong direction.
Full Text Below:
The fallout from the Ma Xi Summit has now had time to settle. The post-summit election rhetoric can now be filtered out. The elimination of political and emotional factors, now makes an accurate assessment of the Ma Xi summit possible.
The Ma Xi summit raised cross-Strait relations to a new level. Following the Ma Xi summit, the Mainland will give greater recognition to Taiwan's de facto political authority, while simultaneously insisting more firmly that the two sides are part of one China. The Mainland is concerned about cross-Strait relations in the event the Democratic Progressive Party wins the election. The Ma Xi summit is a message about the future. The carrot will be bigger, but so will the stick. Alas, DPP spin control has the public on Taiwan convinced that “Ma Ying-jeou is weak, and the KMT is pandering to the Chinese Communists".
Tsai Ing-wen has criticized the Ma Xi summit for "boxing in Taiwan's future". By itself, this is not wrong. But the "box" will not vanish merely because the DPP refuses to recoginize its existence. Nor will it disappear merely because Tsai Ing-wen is elected. If a DPP regime cannot properly handle the relationship with the Chinese mainland, the "box" will only become smaller, not bigger.
Given these risks, we must be clear in our minds. Can Tsai Ing-wen's ambiguous "maintaining the status quo" cross-Strait policy actually maintain the status quo? Can a static cross-Strait policy cope with an unsettled internal and international environment? If the Mainland "box" becomes smaller, how will the DPP respond? Will cross-Strait relations regress to the Chen Shui-bian era?
Tsai Ing-wen's political intuition is quite good. Following the Ma Xi summit, she told reporters she “would not rule out a Tsai Xi summit". Her reasoning is obvious. Opinion polls and public commentary show that most people approved of the meeting between the leaders. Some however, do not trust Ma Ying-jeou. That lowered support for the Ma Xi summit somewhat. This undoubtedly offers Tsai a golden opportunity. It enables her to take part in a future Tsai Xi summit with even greater public support, and less likelihood of reproach. If a Tsai Xi summit materializes, and resolves political and economic difficulties on Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen could become the highest rated president since Chiang Ching-kuo.
But a Tsai Xi summit will not be the result of internal factors on Taiwan. For Tsai Ing-wen the prospect of a summit remains remote. Mainland China's rapid rise has made it increasingly confident about the Taiwan issue. Xi Jinping has taken a number of measures to advance cross-Strait relations since taking office. Such initiatives do not imply compromise. Rather they reflect concern that cross-Strait relations have stalled, and a desire to settle the Taiwan issue once and for all.
To some extent, the Mainland has already begun the process of peaceful reunification. Taiwan has avoided political negotiations. But cross-Strait political relations have already taken a giant leap forward. This is the cross-Strait status quo that Tsai Ing-wen must confront once Ma Ying-jeou steps down.
The Ma Xi summit will undoubtedly become the basis for Tsai Ing-wen era cross-Strait relations. Will Tsai be able to use the summit protocols for the two sides' leaders? Will she be able to hold cross-Strait talks as usual? If she can, then her cross-Strait policy will be considered successful. If cross-Strait exchanges are officially suspended because Tsai took power, any Tsai Xi summit will be stillborn. Public officials and private citizens on both sides will conclude that she lacks the inability to deal with cross-Strait relations.
Cross-Strait interaction has made huge strides forward. If official cross-Strait exchanges suffer a setback, the impact on Taiwan will be unbearable. Tsai Ing-wen's regime will probably end early or be crippled.
In fact, cross-Strait relations have already expanded beyond Taipei and Beijing. They now involve Asian-Pacific geopolitics. The Mainland is clearly in competition with the United States in the Asian-Pacific region. The United States has made a pivot back to Asia. It has intervened in the South China Seas in search of support from Southeast Asian countries. The Mainland, meanwhile, is promoting its One Belt, One Road, consolidating cooperative relations with Southeast Asian countries, and challenging the US led international financial and monetary order.
The Southeast Asian countries face fierce competition between Mainland China and the US. They have no desire to offend anyone. They must adopt a balanced strategy to avoid lost opportunities because they chose one side instead of the other. In fact, Taiwan faces the same dilemma. It too must seek a balance between the two. Tsai Ing-wen will bet on the United States. She will even allow herself to be used as a stalking horse against the Mainland. That will undermine the core interests of the Mainland. The impact will not be limited to cross-Strait relations. It will directly impact Taiwan's interests. Take the three major Asian allies of the US. Japan and the Philippines have sided with the United States. Relations with the Mainland, as a consequence, are frozen. South Korea chose cooperation with the Mainland. Bilateral economic and trade relations are warmer than ever. Is Taiwan prepared to suffer the consequences of the former course? Is it ready to endure the pain? The answer, clearly, is no.
Cross-Strait relations have developed to the stage where they can no longer go back. Tsai must set aside unrealistic expectations about choosing sides. She must act to preserve the existing cross-Strait protocols, and improve cross-Strait relations. Voters must be vigilant about the DPP's cross-Strait policy. They must apply pressure on the presidential candidates, to prevent them from leading the country in the wrong direction.
2015年12月01日 04:10 主筆室
兩黨為選舉需要釋放干擾性訊息的效應應該可以過濾了。 去除政治鬥爭與情感的因素， 現在應該是對馬習會歷史定位做出準確評估的適當時機。
後馬習會的兩岸關係架構將是「大陸更認可台灣的事實政權， 更堅持兩岸中國大原則」。 這是因為大陸對民進黨勝選後的兩岸關係產生疑慮， 藉由馬習會展現未來「軟的更軟、硬的更硬」策略。 但馬習會在民進黨操控下，台灣社會的普遍認知卻是「馬英九軟弱、 國民黨親共」。
但這種「框限」不因民進黨否認而不存在， 也不會因蔡英文當選而消失， 民進黨執政如未能妥慎處理好與中國大陸的關係，「框限」 只會更緊實而不會放鬆。
兩岸政策，究竟能否維持現狀？靜態的兩岸政策， 能在變動不居的內部與國際環境下做出最正確對策嗎？如果大陸「 框限」得更緊實，民進黨將如何回應？ 兩岸關係會不會回到陳水扁時代？
不排除蔡習會」。理由很簡單， 馬習會的所有民調和社會輿論氛圍都顯示， 大部分民眾支持兩岸領導人會面，只是部分人對馬英九太不信任， 所以馬習會的支持度比兩岸領導人會面支持度稍低。 這對蔡英文來說無疑提供了一個有利的契機， 讓她可以在未來以更大的民意基礎籌備「蔡習會」， 而不至於像馬這樣動輒得咎。如果「蔡習會」果真實現， 並解除了台灣政治與經濟困境， 蔡英文有機會成為台灣自蔣經國後歷史地位最高的總統。
客觀現實距離蔡英文的期望非常遙遠。 快速崛起的大陸在處理台灣問題時愈來愈自信， 習近平上任以來採取眾多主動措施推動兩岸關係向前發展， 這種主動當然不是妥協讓步的意思， 而是對兩岸關係可能停滯不前的憂慮， 以及最終解決台灣問題的迫切需要。
大陸已經在準備將兩岸和平發展時期推進到兩岸和平統一時期的過渡 階段。儘管台灣方面迴避政治談判，但兩岸政治關係已經大步前進， 這正是馬英九卸任以後蔡英文所要面對的兩岸關係現狀。
如果蔡能延續兩岸領導人會面機制， 並確保兩岸事務性談判照常舉行， 那這就意味著蔡的兩岸政策是成功的， 如果蔡上台兩岸官方往來中止，蔡習會破局， 則注定會被兩岸輿論定調為沒有能力處理兩岸關係。
而變成亞太地緣政治的一環， 大陸跟美國在亞太地區的競逐態勢明顯， 一方面是美國採取實質行動重返亞洲， 並通過強力介入南海議題來爭取東南亞諸國的投靠， 另一方面則是大陸大力推進一帶一路建設， 鞏固與東南亞國家的合作關係，並在金融、 貨幣領域挑戰美國建構的國際秩序。
紛紛採取平衡策略，避免因為選邊站而失去另一方的合作機會。 台灣其實也面臨同樣的抉擇，必須在中美兩國之間尋求平衡。 但蔡英文將賭注押在美國身上， 甚至讓自己成為牽制中國大陸的前鋒， 那麼無疑等於侵犯了大陸的核心利益， 其影響恐怕就不只是衝擊兩岸關係， 甚至會直接損害台灣的實質利益。 看看美國在亞洲的三大盟友即可知道，日本、 菲律賓選擇站在美國一邊，與大陸關係跌入冰點； 南韓傾向跟大陸合作，兩國經貿領域的互動日趨熱絡。對台灣來說， 是否已經做好準備選擇前者，並準備好經歷一段陣痛期？ 答案顯然是否定的。
蔡英文必須拋開選邊站這種不切實際的幻想， 採取實質行動維繫兩岸既有的互動機制， 進而延續兩岸關係的發展趨勢。 選民應該對民進黨的兩岸政策心存警戒，並對錯誤的國家方向施壓。 (中國時報）