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Editorial: China-Taiwan summit leaves concerns about “maintenance of status quo”

  • 2015-11-09 15:00:00
  • , Sankei
  • Translation
  • ,

(Sankei: November 8, 2015 – p. 2)

 

 Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou and Chinese President Xi Jinping affirmed the principle of “one China” at their first summit.

 

 The question is, though, whether that will lead to cross-strait peace as the two leaders claim.

 

 At the summit, President Xi took the approach of excluding U.S. involvement and containing pro-independence factions in Taiwan. This makes us very concerned about China’s influence increasing in the future.

 

 It must not be forgotten that China has not ruled out the use of force as a means to achieve unification with Taiwan.

 

 Peace in the Taiwan Strait is directly linked to the security of Japan and the entire East Asian region. If China intends to develop its relationship with Taiwan in a peaceful manner, it must first offer the international community a clear statement refuting the possibility that it would use military force against Taiwan.

 

 The principle of “one China,” which the two leaders confirmed at the summit, is based on the “1992 Consensus,” [wherein both Taipei and Beijing agree that there is “one China”] with each side having its own interpretation of what “one China” means. Taiwan is divided on this matter: The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the pro-independence opposition party, does not recognize the existence of the consensus.

 

 At the summit, the Taiwanese and Chinese leaders took the stance of keeping the DPP in check: President Ma said, “Taiwan will continue to solidify the 1992 Consensus, maintaining the peaceful status quo,” while President Xi emphasized the importance of maintaining the principle of “one China.”

 

 At the talks, President Ma asked China to withdraw its ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan. President Xi avoided responding to the real issue by stating that “they are not targeting Taiwan.”

 

 Judging from the stance taken by President Xi at the summit, we cannot take his words about the peaceful advancement of ties with Taiwan at face value. We remain concerned that the principle of “one China” could be interpreted in a way favorable to China and imposed on Taiwan in the future.

 

 There is more and more discussion about the possible danger that China could dominate the debate about the future of Taiwan by taking Taiwan over economically as a result of the rapid strengthening of cross-strait ties under President Ma.

 

 The people of Taiwan made their will clear in last year’s local elections, in which the ruling party Kuomintang (KMT) suffered an overwhelming defeat. In the January 2016 presidential election as well, the DPP is well ahead of the KMT [in the polls]. The judgment of President Ma, Taiwan’s representative at the summit, should be thoroughly questioned.

 

 What kind of “one China” can be built between Taiwan and China, which maintains a single-party autocracy led by the Communist Party? China is clearly taking an aggressive expansionary foreign policy as demonstrated by its activities in the South China Sea. We must remain vigilant.

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