Apple Daily: How can peace pact be signed under such circumstances?

2018/07/29 17:45:40 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Image taken from Pixabay

Image taken from Pixabay

As China increases the pressure on Taiwan and in the wake of its recent maneuvers to reduce the nation's international space, all indications are it will continue and perhaps even step up such efforts.

Against such a backdrop, a Chinese scholar specializing in Taiwan affairs has touted a "timetable for the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to reach a peace agreement."

Zhou Zhihuai (周志懷) suggested that such an agreement could be signed within a decade, stressing that it would be an integral part of China's "timetable for unifying with Taiwan."

A critical question is who would represent each side in talks on such an agreement?

Anyone with basic knowledge about China knows that Beijing regards itself as the "central" government and simply does not accept the reality of Taiwan being a sovereign country called the Republic of China.

In the eyes of Beijing's leaders, such an agreement cannot be one between "two Chinas" or between "China and Taiwan" as they are adamant that Taiwan is not a sovereign state.

Moreover, who in democratic Taiwan would dare to accept such an arrangement on Beijing's terms, especially when the latter is accelerating efforts to minimize Taiwan's status on the international stage?

In point of fact, Beijing's idea that it is the central government trying to lure a local Taiwan "province" back into the fold, is simply outdated.

A real solution to this thorny issue would involve both sides finding a way to recognize Taiwan's status based on its historical development, one that similarly meets China's needs for its own historical development in the future.

Over the past six months, the geopolitical situation in northeast Asia has undergone a fundamental shift with the signing of the Panmunjom Declaration between South Korea and North Korea.

This will soon be followed by an agreement to end the Korean War and a peace treaty for the Korean Peninsula, developments that will inevitably turn the spotlight back on the Taiwan Strait.

In the meantime, if Beijing truly seeks a cross-strait peace agreement, it will have to change its mentality regarding Taiwan's partnership and status.

At the same time, the government in Taiwan needs to wake up to this eventuality and make sure it is prepared if and when it comes. (Editorial abstract --July 29, 2018)

(By S.C. Chang)

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