熱門:

2022年10月8日

Frank Ching EJ Insight

China and Taiwan: What role for the KMT?

Just after the People's Liberation Army sent ballistic missiles flying over Taiwan and effectively blockaded the island's ports in a ferocious show of force in the aftermath of a visit by Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Andrew Hsia, vice chairman of the opposition Kuomintang, or Nationalist party, began a 17-day visit to the mainland, with cries of "traitor" ringing in his ears.

Upon his return, KMT chairman Eric Chu had one word to describe Hsia, who had met with mainland officials responsible for dealing with Taiwan: "Brave."

This is an apt description, though perhaps not the only one. The KMT knew the governing Democratic Progressive Party would cast the trip as a betrayal of Taiwan while sucking up to the mainland at the very time when Beijing was threatening the continued existence of the island as a political entity.

Hsia explained that his trip was to assist Taiwan businesspeople and their families resident in the mainland, numbering perhaps two million of Taiwan's 23 million people. Many of them are supporters of the KMT. No doubt, the local elections in Taiwan scheduled for November figured in his calculations.

Doing well in the election of mayors and county leaders across the island would give the KMT a decided boost to face the presidential election in 2024.

After Hsia's return to Taiwan, the KMT gave an account of what had transpired during his meeting with senior Communist officials, including the mainland's top Taiwan negotiator, Zhang Zhijun, president of the semi-official Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, and Chen Yuanfeng, deputy director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of China's State Council.

It said that Hsia had conveyed to Chinese officials concerns of the Taiwan community over Beijing's military drills around the island and told them that the exercises were not helpful to peaceful development. The vast majority of Taiwanese, Hsia explained, were worried about the drills.

Mainland officials defended the military exercises as necessary to uphold China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Issues discussed included recent cases of job scams and telecom fraud in Cambodia involving residents from both sides of the strait. Also discussed was the restoration of direct flights between Taiwan's offshore islands and the mainland, which were suspended because of the pandemic.

Chu, the KMT chairman, emphasized the importance of keeping lines of communication with the mainland open to prevent conflict. The ability to dialogue with the mainland is a definite plus for the party, since Beijing will not talk to the ruling DPP.

Some KMT leaders, however, feel that its identification as a "China-friendly" party hinders its election prospects in Taiwan.

Two years ago, when Johnny Chiang ran for the party chairmanship, he told the media that he was considering abandoning the "one China" position – often referred to as the "1992 consensus." After Chiang won, he was cold-shouldered by China.

But when Eric Chu regained the party chairmanship the following year, after reaffirming support for the "1992 consensus," he received a congratulatory message from Xi Jinping, the Communist party leader, and the two parties were on speaking terms again.

As long as there is a viable political party in Taiwan not opposed to unification with the mainland, it would be difficult for Beijing to argue that all possibilities for "peaceful reunification" have been exhausted and that the only option left for it is to use force.

Chu clearly understands this. He is eying the presidential election in 2024 and, for that reason, went to Washington in June to open a representative office for the KMT.

Speaking at the Brookings Institution, Chu said the KMT, often derided for being "China-friendly," will remain "pro-U.S. forever." He emphasized his party's desire to seek "principled dialogue" with Beijing to avoid conflict.

As for the controversial "1992 consensus," it resulted from a deadlocked meeting in Hong Kong in which the two sides agreed there was only one China but could not agree whether that was the "People's Republic of China" on the mainland or the "Republic of China" on Taiwan.

Asked about this, Chu described it as a "no-consensus consensus," that is, one that had no real content but was useful as a foundation for maintaining cross-strait interaction.

For Taiwan to continue to thrive, it is necessary for it to get along with the mainland. A state of hostility between the two sides of the strait is intrinsically unnatural and dangerous. If the KMT did not exist, it would be necessary in Taiwan's fraught situation to invent it, if only for the purpose of maintaining a channel of communication between the two sides.

更多精采英文內容,請瀏覽以下網址:

www.ejinsight.com

訂戶登入

回上

信報簡介 | 服務條款 | 私隱條款 | 免責聲明 | 廣告查詢 | 加入信報 | 聯絡信報

股票及指數資料由財經智珠網有限公司提供。期貨指數資料由天滙財經有限公司提供。外滙及黃金報價由路透社提供。

本網站的內容概不構成任何投資意見,本網站內容亦並非就任何個別投資者的特定投資目標、財務狀況及個別需要而編製。投資者不應只按本網站內容進行投資。在作出任何投資決定前,投資者應考慮產品的特點、其本身的投資目標、可承受的風險程度及其他因素,並適當地尋求獨立的財務及專業意見。本網站及其資訊供應商竭力提供準確而可靠的資料,但並不保證資料絕對無誤,資料如有錯漏而令閣下蒙受損失,本公司概不負責。

You are currently at: www.hkej.com
Skip This Ads