China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
April 20, 2016
Executive Summary: Tsai Ing-wen and the Mainland each have their own bottom lines. But a cessation of cross-Strait interaction would exact too high a price on both sides. Therefore both sides should demonstrate wisdom and flexibility. They should seek a new foundation for cross-Strait interaction acceptable to both sides.
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As soon as Tsai Ing-wen won the election, the Mainland began pressure testing her. But Tsai Ing-wen has obstinately refused to recognize either the 1992 Consensus or affirm the One China Principle. DPP Legislative Yuan Speaker Su Chia-chuan even declared that "People on Taiwan and the Mainland belong to different countries", totally undermining Tsai Ing-wen's commitments. Mainland pressure testing has slowly changed. What was a temporary measure has become a fixed guideline, in the hope that Tsai Ing-wen's new government will realize that refusal to recognize the 1992 Consensus or affirm the One China Principle, will have devastating long-term consequences.
Obviously, the price paid will not benefit people on either side. The Ma government has been in office eight years. It obtained increased breathing space for Taiwan. It made a fundamental breakthrough in cross-Strait private sector interaction. People to people exchanges in particular, became the cross-Strait norm. Far too many people have become part of the same circle. They now share the same destiny. If conflict erupts between the two sides, they will be the victims. More and more people enjoy the fruits of improved cross-Strait relations. Peaceful cross-Strait interaction is like the air we breath. We fail to appreciate its existence and importance until it is lost, by which time our daily lives and routines have been affected. Consider the tourism industry. Business owners' find themselves under a dark cloud. This offers us a taste of the pessimism that permeates society today. Some may rejoice. Fewer Mainland tourists mean smaller crowds at tourist spots, and a better experience for themselves. But they fail to realize these “benefits” mean plummeting tourism industry income and even bankruptcy.
Based on individual claims or perceptions, the general public may remain blindly optimistic. But as president, Tsai Ing-wen cannot afford such myopia. She must take a broader view of the problems facing Taiwan. She must consider the welfare of the public, and even the welfare of citizens on the other side of the Strait. She must rethink her view of the cross-Strait political foundation. She must seek solutions to ensure that cross-Strait relations develop peacefully. Obviously this is related to the Mainland's insistence on the 1992 Consensus. In other words, Tsai Ing-wen must put the welfare of people on both sides of the Strait above all else.
Naturally, given the DPP's history and culture, one cannot expect the DPP to accept the 1992 Consensus outright. Nor can one expect her to utter the words "One China". But the DPP must realize that unless it sorts out cross-Strait relations, the Tsai Ing-wen government will fail in its attempt to govern the nation. Tsai Ing-wen should draw from past experience and attempt to make a breakthrough. When Chen Shui-bian delivered his inaugural speech years ago, he may not have explicitly recognized the 1992 Consensus, or affirmed the one China principle. But he publicly acknowledged that people on both sides share common descent, history, and culture. This hardly satisfied the Mainland. But at least it enabled them to let out a breath of air. Chen had at least retained a link between the two sides.
Ko Wen-je's rhetoric is more advanced. He visited Shanghai and declared that he “has no two Chinas problem". He said he had no objection to “both sides of the Strait being part of one family”. Clearly the Mainland is flexible regarding cross-Strait rhetoric from Taiwan. Ko's reference to "both sides of the Strait being part of one family” echoed President Xi Jinping wording, and implied a special relationship between the two sides. Of course for Tsai Ing-wen to affirm that "both sides of the Strait are part of one family” may be difficult. Therefore she may wish to draw on the experience of Chen Shui-bian and Ko Wen-je. She can indirectly imply that the two sides are part of one family. In particular, she can underscore how under the Republic of China's constitutional framework, cross-Strait relations are special, but they are not relations between two independent countries. She may wish to make clear that the two sides are not two independent countries, and that people on the two sides are fellow countrymen, thereby clarifying the relationship between the two political entities. Meanwhile, during future discussions of cross-Strait relations, she may wish to underscore the connection between people across the Strait, and declare that the new government will not treat Mainlanders as foreigners, but will continue to treat Mainlanders as fellow countrymen under the cross-Strait framework.
The Mainland must understand that according to Academia Sinica polls, 49.7% of the public on Taiwan believes that Taiwan will eventually "be reunified [by the Mainland]”. They may fear or resist the prospect. But reunification remains well within the realm of possibility. Sad to say, the KMT government has long been fearful of ridicule and slander when promoting cross-Strait policy. It has lacked the courage to throw open the doors and to make bold decisions. Such considerations need not weigh on the DPP. If the time and conditions are right, it can afford to push cross-Strait relations into new territory. If Tsai Ing-wen acts on behalf of the public welfare, and advances cross-Strait relations into new territory, the Mainland should adopt a forward looking attitude. The Mainland need not compromise on matters of principle. But if under the DPP cross-Strait relations can continue to develop peacefully, the Mainland should remain confident.
Tsai Ing-wen and the Mainland each have their own bottom lines. But a cessation of cross-Strait interaction would exact too high a price on both sides. Therefore both sides should demonstrate wisdom and flexibility. They should seek a new foundation for cross-Strait interaction acceptable to both sides.
蔡英文依然遲遲未對九二共識或一中原則做出表態， 甚至黨內不時出現類似立法院長蘇嘉全宣稱「 台灣人民與中國人民屬於不同國家」 全然違背蔡英文承諾的脫軌言行， 大陸開始慢慢將壓力從臨時性的測試性質變成固定性質的方針， 希望讓蔡英文的新政府意識到， 不接受九二共識或者一中原則要長期付出代價。
不但讓台灣獲得較寬裕的活動空間， 更讓兩岸民間互動有了根本性突破。尤其兩岸民眾間的交流成常態， 太多人已深度融入兩岸共同生活圈，成為兩岸命運共同體的一員， 兩岸若出現衝突，最大的受害者就是這部分人。不僅如此， 還有更大範圍的人們，享受著兩岸關係改善後的成果， 兩岸和平互動如同空氣一樣，其存在，大家不覺得重要，一旦失去， 正常的生活和工作可能都將受到影響。 看看全台旅遊業者的愁雲慘霧，即可管窺當下台灣社會的悲觀氛圍， 雖然很多人看到陸客大減還感到一絲欣慰，認為可以減少景區擁擠， 保有自己旅行時的品質， 殊不知這種小確幸卻是以旅遊業者收入大減乃至破產為代價。
身為總統的蔡英文就斷不能如此短視， 而應該以更為寬廣的視野審視當下台灣所面對的困境， 應以台灣廣大民眾乃至兩岸蒼生為念， 重新思考其對兩岸政治基礎的論述， 尋找出更能確保兩岸關係繼續向前發展的解決之道。 而這當然跟大陸對九二共識或一中原則的堅持有關，換句話說， 蔡英文應站在兩岸民眾福祉的高度來面對兩岸這一政治基礎。
要民進黨接受九二共識應是不可期待的，對「一中」 兩個字大概也不會出現順從性的表述，但民進黨應已理解， 兩岸關係不理順蔡英文政府不可能有好的政績， 相信蔡英文一定會參照過往兩岸交手的經驗， 努力尋找可能的突破口。 當年陳水扁就職演講中雖未明確承認九二共識和一中原則， 但還是公開承認兩岸人民有著共同的血緣、歷史和文化。 對此大陸當然不滿意，但也鬆了一口氣， 因為這畢竟還是保留了兩岸之間的連結。
兩岸一家親」得以前進上海， 從中可以看出大陸對台灣各方的兩岸論述還是保留了靈活的處理空間 ，「兩岸一家親」不僅是大陸領導人習近平主席的提法， 其實也暗含兩岸的特殊關係。當然，要蔡英文全盤接受「 兩岸一家親」的提法可能也有困難， 那麼不妨調和陳水扁和柯文哲的作法，強調兩岸都是一家人的意涵， 特別是將中華民國憲政體制下兩岸屬於特殊關係， 但不是國與國關係做出清楚的表態，用兩岸非兩國、 兩岸是同胞等概念確立兩岸兩主體之間的關係。同時， 在對未來兩岸互動的原則進行論述時， 也要強調兩岸人民之間的連結關係，從而向大陸宣告， 新政府不會以對待外人的方式看待大陸人民， 而在兩岸框架下延續兩岸交流、對待大陸人民。
「被統一」，其中或許存有恐懼或抗拒的因素， 但未嘗不是統一的契機。可是，長期以來國民黨政府推動兩岸政策， 始終面對憂讒畏譏與動輒得咎的雙重困境， 絕無膽識推出大開大闔大決策，民進黨卻沒有包袱， 只要客觀條件與時機成熟，未嘗不能將兩岸關係推入一個新境界。 蔡英文若能以兩岸民眾利益為出發提出某種程度的新論述， 大陸亦應正向面對。這並非要求大陸在原則問題上做出妥協， 而是希望大陸能夠體會在民進黨執政下若能持續兩岸和平發展關係所 可能開創的空間，大陸對此應更有自信。