The following is based on a translation from Chinese media:
Taiwan’s United Daily News says in its report on the meeting between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping and Taiwan’s KMT leader Eric Chu today that Zhu mentioned the “Republic of China” in the face of Xi Jinping.
There is a strict understanding that Taiwan will never use that name when dealing with mainland China in an official capacity. China has even threatened to attack Taiwan if it does use that name.
Zhu played the trick to mention the “Republic of China” by saying, “I recall that 100 years ago, Dr. Sun Yet-sen overthrew the imperial system and founded the Republic of China.” Xi could not oppose that historical fact.
According to various Taiwan and Hong Kong media reports, Taiwanese people are happy that Xi did not respond to the mentioning of the Republic of China when Chu mentioned it.
There has been a “92 Consensus” between the CCP and Taiwan’s ruling party, the Kuomintang (KMT), which means that both China and Taiwan admit that there is only one China but each has its own interpretation of the “one China.”
For the CCP, the one China is the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan is a part of the PRC. For the KMT, the one China is the Republic of China (ROC) while the Chinese mainland under the CCP’s rule is a part of ROC.
In reaching the 92 consensus in 1992 between the two sides, each has made great concession.
PRC admits Taiwan’s rule by Taiwanese people and will not take Taiwan by force as long as Taiwan admits that there is only one China. In fact, China cannot take Taiwan by force as the US will defend it as long as Taiwan does not seek independence.
Taiwan has made the concession that it cannot have diplomatic relations with those that have recognised the PRC as the one China. It now has diplomatic relations with only about two dozen small countries [and the Holy See, representing 1.2 billion Catholics].
If there were two Chinas, i.e. the PRC and ROC both as independent states, Taiwan would be able to have diplomatic relations with the US, EU members, Japan and most other countries in the world.
Taiwan is unable to be independent as the PRC will attack it by military force while the US would not defend it.
If Taiwanese people really understood the 92 Consensus, there is nothing for them to be happy about as due to the Consensus the PRC allows Taiwan to regard itself as the Republic of China.
The situation across the Taiwan Strait is now quite tricky. Most Taiwanese people regard themselves as Chinese so that they are happy that Taiwan is the Republic of China. They want to maintain Taiwan’s democratic political system but do not want to be independent in order to avoid being attacked by the PRC and maintain the great economic benefits it is gaining from the PRC.
Even the pro-independence opposition party the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), KMT’s rival, knows independence is unpopular. Its presidential election candidate now advocates maintaining the status quo across the Taiwan Strait instead of seeking independence.
It is very interesting that during Xi’s meeting with Zhu, Xi put forth the idea of the community of common destiny between the PRC and Taiwan. On March 29, Xi put forth a similar idea of the Asian community of common destiny at the Boao Forum for Asia.
As the Asian community of common destiny is between different countries, Xi could be implying the community of common destiny between PRC and Taiwan as two different states. Xi would not care, as if China grows even richer and stronger, Taiwan will be glad to be a part of it. Even China’s neighbours will seek China’s protection.
In the past, Vietnam, Korea, Liuqiu and others all regarded China as their suzerain because China protected them and gave them gifts without interfering in their internal affairs.
They separated their ties with China when China was weak or interfered with their internal affairs.
Conduct further reforms at home and cooperation with other countries to make China richer and stronger. That is what China has to do. In the process of cooperation, other countries will also grow richer and stronger. China will be happy about that.
Source: United Daily News – “Eric Chu mentioned the ‘Republic of China’ in the face of Xi Jinping, who did not respond to that” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)
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Categories: Politics & Law