The China Post
By Lydia Lin–Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen yesterday blasted incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou’s idea of signing a peace agreement with China within the next decade, calling the proposal a “dangerous” endeavor, both undemocratic and divisive. On Monday, Ma said his administration would “cautiously consider” whether Taiwan should negotiate a peace agreement with China within the next decade if three major premises are met, including a high level of consensus among nationals.
Tsai pointed out that such an agreement would be made under the premise of the “1992 Consensus,” which recognizes the “One-China policy.” To set a 10-year timeline for rolling out a highly controversial agreement is deeply unsettling for those who already have their doubts about Ma, she added. Ma’s three premises for the proposed peace agreement include a pact that is strongly supported by the public, meets the actual needs of the country, and is supervised by the legislature. Regarding the three premises, the DPP chairwoman asked when in the past three years had Ma “sought strong public backing” or “legislative supervision” when it came to cross-strait relations.
For a president who has yet to gain pervasive trust from the people to push such a highly controversial pact is a “dangerous thing” and poses “a serious problem,” said Tsai, adding that the opposition DPP will issue an official response today. DPP spokesperson Lin Wen-jei went as far as to claim that such a peace agreement would be signed with reunification in mind.
That has been China’s perspective and goal since time immemorial, Lin said, stressing that Ma, in pushing for a peace agreement, is taking Taiwan one step closer to reunification with China. Lin said the pan-green party privately believed that the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) rolled out the proposal under great cross-strait pressure, adding the DPP will be closely observing how the entire idea develops. As a nation’s leader, the fact that Ma has set a 10-year timeline on such a sensitive issue without seeking public consensus poses a grave problem, said the DPP spokesperson.
Ma said Monday that signing a peace agreement across the Taiwan Strait was a joint vision worked out by Lien Chan, former vice president, and Chinese leaders, when Lien made a historical visit to mainland China in his capacity as chairman of the KMT in 1994, and has since become part of the KMT’s policy platforms. Mainland China had not yet responded to Ma’s statement but Beijing leaders had on several occasions indicated the possibility of peace talks, on their own terms.