Close Please enter your Username and Password
Reset Password
If you've forgotten your password, you can enter your email address below. An email will then be sent with a link to set up a new password.
Reset Link Sent
Password reset link sent to
Check your email and enter the confirmation code:
Don't see the email?
  • Resend Confirmation Link
  • Start Over
If you have any questions, please contact Customer Service

1ClassyLady 68F
3120 posts
1/28/2019 10:31 pm
Xi Sells 'One China' Dreams to the Wrong Country

The Taiwanese people have acclimated to their own culture and way of life. Uncoerced unification between Taipei and Beijing is a Chinese pipe dream.

Xi Sells 'One China' Dreams to the Wrong Country.

In a Washington Post op-ed stunning for its intellectual dishonesty, selective presentation of facts, and interpretation of the facts presented, Bucknell professor Zhiqun Zhu paints a picture of China-Taiwan relations dangerously divorced from reality. Writing in the wake of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s(习近平) speech earlier this month to mark the fortieth anniversary of the 1979 “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan,” Zhu bafflingly concludes that Taiwan’s reaction to the speech, rather than the speech itself, foreshadows “a stormy relationship” in the coming years. His analysis betrays an ignorance of developments of cross-Strait relations in recent years and of politics on the island.

Zhu begins with a questionable assertion: from 2008 to 2016, when the more China-friendly Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九)was Taiwan’s president, cross-Strait relations were “stable and friendly, and cross-strait exchanges were dynamic.” This may appear true on its face. The two sides concluded numerous pacts during the Ma years, perhaps most notable among them an agreement to allow direct China-Taiwan commercial flights and the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement. (Zhu overlooks the fact that progress on cross-Strait ties actually began during the independence-minded Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) administration; the first direct cross-Strait flights, permitted during the lunar new year holiday, occurred on his watch).

Of course, Beijing was never coy about its logic in pursuing these arrangements—closer economic integration, so the theory went, inevitably would lead to unification. That is an outcome that few on the island favor, though you wouldn’t know that from reading Zhu’s piece.

What’s more, China in fact maintained a high degree of pressure on the island during the Ma years. Beijing, for example, continued to limit Taiwan’s international engagement. Beijing did drop objections to Taiwan’s invitation as an observer to the annual World Health Assembly, but it also pressured the World Health Organization in 2011 to begin referring to Taiwan as a province of China rather than the more ambiguous “Chinese Taipei.” That year, China coerced South Korea into ending its forty-year military officer exchange program with Taiwan.

China likewise maintained a high degree of pressure on the United States to dissuade it from selling needed arms to Taiwan. Following the completion of a relatively minor arms sale in January 2010, Beijing cut off military-to-military exchanges with the United States for an entire year. The Obama administration would remain trigger-shy on arms sales for the duration of its term, denying Taiwan the weapons it most needed to ensure its self-defense.

Finally, in 2014, the Sunflower Movement, in which demonstrators called for greater public oversight of cross-Strait engagement, sprouted in response to Ma’s efforts to rapidly conclude a cross-Strait agreement on trade in services. Both Ma and Beijing, it turned out, ultimately misread domestic politics in Taiwan.

In short, during the Ma years, China sought to bind Taiwan more closely to itself while continuing to isolate it internationally and denying it the ability to defend itself. All the while, Beijing and the Ma administration were moving to advance cross-Strait ties at a pace with which many in Taiwan were uncomfortable. Stable and friendly? Hardly.

Zhu’s analysis only gets worse from there. He notes that “stable and friendly” ties “changed” with the 2016 election of Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), from the then-opposition Democratic Progressive Party, and that the relationship has been marked by “stalemate” ever since. Zhu intimates that both parties are responsible for this state of affairs, but he conveniently ignores the events of 2016–2018, an explication of which would undermine his broader argument.

Zhu might have noted, for example, that during her campaign and following the election, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) went to great lengths to keep cross-Strait ties on an even keel. Consider, for example, that during a June 2015 visit to Washington, candidate Tsai successfully convinced the risk-averse Obama administration that she would be a responsible steward of Taiwan-China relations. During the campaign, she consistently called for maintenance of the status quo and promised to abide by previously concluded agreements.

Beijing did not care. Following Tsai’s elections, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO ) effectively announced it would refuse to work with the incoming DPP government. Even so, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) continued her efforts to reassure Beijing. In her inaugural address, she called for the “stable and peaceful development of the cross-Strait relationship,” with such development based upon “existing political realities and political foundations.” Per Tsai, those realities and foundations included the fact of 1992 talks between the two sides (more on that below) and the “existing Republic of China constitutional order.” The Republic of China (Taiwan) constitution defines national boundaries as in accordance with those of “one China.” The reference was a clear olive branch, yet the TAO described the speech as an “incomplete test answer.”

Beijing proceeded to launch a sustained pressure campaign on the island. It has suspended the more-or-less official cross-Strait communication mechanism, employed economic coercion, enhanced its military intimidation of Taiwan, and sought to further isolate it on the international stage. This campaign continues, and included potentially extensive interference in Taiwan’s recent nine-in-one elections (which are somewhat akin to American midterms).

Put simply, in Tsai and Xi, we have one president committed to maintaining the cross-Strait status quo and another intent on overturning it. If Beijing’s actions over the past three years have not made that clear, Xi’s recent speech did.

Zhiqun Zhu argues that Xi “introduced more flexibility to the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ model proposed for Taiwan,” which Xi has suggested should involve “the Taiwanese in developing a new model for Taiwan,” and that “the move injects a level of self-determination for Taiwan into the unification model.” Zhu, however, neglects to note that Xi’s formulation for “One Country, Two Systems,” was more restrictive than previous descriptions. Xi promised, “Taiwan compatriots will be fully respected in terms of their social system and lifestyle. Their private assets, religions and beliefs, and legitimate rights of the people in Taiwan will also be fully guaranteed.” But as Brookings Institution scholar Richard Bush has pointed out, “this is less than previous formulations, which included the Taiwan army and the island’s political institutions.”

Zhu, moreover, conveniently ignores the fact that Xi tacitly linked “One Country, Two Systems” with the “1992 consensus,” a reputed accord between quasi-governmental organizations in which both sides agreed that there is only one China while maintaining their own interpretations of what “one China” means. While the DPP has long rejected the 1992 consensus as the basis for cross-Strait relations, even prominent members of the nominally China-friendly KMT have now come out to reject Xi’s linkage.

Finally, Zhu lauds Xi’s proposal that “political parties and people from all walks of life” come together to negotiate “a roadmap for the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations.” According to Zhu, “this might be the most intriguing and innovative part of his speech since it essentially kicks off the unification process by sidestepping the unpopular governing party”—or, one might say, sidestepping the democratically elected government of Taiwan, whose unpopularity stems largely from domestic concerns, not cross-Strait policy.

Oddly, Zhu laments the fact that the Tsai administration rejected this proposal for cross-Strait talks from which it would be excluded and castigated the administration for a lack of openness to discussions. In fact, the Tsai administration has continuously sought discussions with Beijing; it is Beijing that has imposed onerous political preconditions on Taipei before agreeing to engage.

The political reality is this: surveys show that there is miniscule support in Taiwan for unification and that the people there have developed a unique Taiwanese identity. Uncoerced unification is a Chinese pipe dream. It is Xi Jinping’s inflexibility, not Tsai Ing-wen’s, which may trigger a crisis.

Honesty is the best policy.

1ClassyLady 68F
3289 posts
2/1/2019 7:33 am

    Quoting  :

I thank you for your understanding and support.

Honesty is the best policy.

1ClassyLady 68F
3289 posts
1/31/2019 3:29 am

Xi has miscalculated Taiwanese people. Taiwanese have NEVER been purged by "cultural revolution", we have NEVER done anything wrong to Chinese, we have NEVER been under communist, .... For the past 70 years (my ancestors have been in Taiwan for 400 years) separation from China, Taiwanese have changed to be good, no massacre, no killings, we enjoyed a peaceful and healthy lifestyle. It is impossible that two sides people can get along. It is Xi's pipe dream we can tolerate communist. Even we have same language, so WHAT??? Why Chinese still dream that they can use the weapon force to Taiwan and people will comply???

If you ever travel to Taiwan especially in Taipei, people can speak English. Taiwanese are very friendly, we welcome foreigners to Taiwan. If you ever traveled to China, you will tell the differences of two sides of people.

Look Korea, they have South Korea and North Korea. Their economy are tremendously different. They can't unify anymore. It is easy life from poor to rich, but it is very difficult from rich to be poor. Once you are in democracy, you won't like communist. Another two examples are Vietnam and Germany. Same langue doesn't mean anything, if the government have different policy.

Many years ago, I have said my opinions on Asia Friendfinder blogs about the political differences in between China and Taiwan. Many Chinese jumped on me, attacked me. They never will understand because they are under communist government and been brainwashed. It is sad for those narrow-minded people know nothing about the freedom of democracy.

I say again "I am lucky that I was born and raised in Taiwan".

Honesty is the best policy.

1ClassyLady 68F
3289 posts
1/30/2019 11:31 pm

Like I have said before, Taiwan is a sovereignty nation. Taiwan has its own Constitution, flag, national anthem, ... presidential election, .... Mainland China has established since 1949 when ex-President Chiang retreated to Taiwan. China only has almost 70 years history. Taiwan was in UN among 4 countries that had veto rights in UN from 1949 to 1979. Taiwan has been separated from Mainland China for near 70 years, so many customs, cultures, traditions, and thoughts have changed during this 70 years separation between the Taiwan strait.

China had 10 years "Cultural Revolution" that purged multi-million their own people. While Taiwan has lived in happy, healthy and normal life, but China was under brutal massacre, the iron curtain shutdown, disconnected from the outside world, banned English learning, destroyed Buddhist temples, killed college professors, school principals, rich land owners, ... They didn't have happy childhood and mental detriment, .... They had to memorize and recite Mao's Red Book. China has Air Pollution, Water Contamination, and Plastic Pollution, .... Taiwan is doing very well in "Recycling plastic bottles, aluminum cans, paper, .... for environment. Although I left Taiwan for 38 and 1/2 years, but I know Taiwan has kept clean for the green environment. Nobody doing peeing or pooing in the public as Chinese do.

Chinese government has controlled their people and people have been brainwashed that Taiwan is just one province of China. Their people have heard from only their government. It is like a frog sits in the bottom of a well and look up the sky that is only as small as the well. They don't know how big the world is. How can two sides separated for so many years to get along? How can their government control Taiwanese for desire of freedom? Taiwan has Google search, Google Maps, Google translate, Gmails, YouTube videos, FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, .... Every social media in the world, Taiwan has.

Taiwan has bipartisan system (3 political parties), presidential election, democracy system, .... checks and balances. We respect "Human Right", Humanity, warmhearted personalities, Freedom of speech, religion and press, .... However, China had to cut off so many countries to have diplomatic relationships with Taiwan to isolate Taiwan. You can obviously know China's no heart for Taiwan. All they want is to destroy Taiwan. What is good for them to destroy 13 million people in Taiwan??

Former president, Jimmy Carter, abandoned Taiwan and established diplomatic relationship with China in 1979 because he wanted money. Carter thought China has big population, if people bought U.S. goods, America could make lots of money. That was the reason I voted for Ronald Reagon re-election in 1985 when I became an U.S. citizen. Reagon was the only Republican president I've voted.

Honesty is the best policy.