Cross-strait relationships ‘will go back to ice age’

By Tom Pu-chih Hsieh, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The relationship between mainland China and Taiwan will be thrown back to the ice age after Tsai Ing-wen won the presidential election in Taiwan, bringing instability to the region. Although Tsai repeatedly says that she will maintain the status quo in the cross-strait relationship, she revealed her true attitude in the presidential debate by stating that it is not right to have a diplomatic truce with China and that she does not recognize the “1992 Consensus,” a prerequisite that China demands before taking part in any dialogue between the two sides. This means that no official talks between China and Taiwan will be held after Tsai is inaugurated, unless she is willing to first recognize the “1992 Consensus,” and Tsai is unlikely to change her pro-independence stance following a landslide victory over the Kuomintang (KMT) in the presidential election. No Official Contact The newly set up hotline between China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) and Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) that emerged after an agreement made during the Ma-Xi meeting in Singapore last November will stop ringing after May 20, Tsai’s inauguration day, and the MAC will lose its function afterward since it can no longer have any dialogue with its mainland counterpart. Instead, the Straits Exchange Foundation, the semi-official organization set up by Taiwan to handle private cross-strait affairs, will come back to life to deal with private sector matters between the two sides. Long before Taiwan’s presidential election, China had established its cross-strait strategy to deal with the coming Tsai administration. Taiwan is blocked outside of China’s “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) because China doesn’t want to reserve seats for the DPP administration. Hold the Urine Policy Outside of the OBOR and the AIIB, China will enforce a two-sided diplomatic approach in cross-strait affairs after Tsai becomes president. On the one hand, it will not have any contact with the Taiwan government; on the other hand, it will strengthen communications with Taiwan’s private sector to win the support of the Taiwanese people. The policy of no official contact, also nicknamed the “hold the urine policy,” is meant to shape a stand-off situation between the two governments and see who gives up holding their urine first and surrenders to the other. With over 40 percent of Taiwan’s exports going to China, the Taiwan government is destined to be the loser and have to make certain concessions to China in the future. Cross-strait Tai-pans The cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) seems to do little to help China in winning the hearts and minds of the Taiwanese people, although China makes a lot of concessions to benefit Taiwan in the agreement. Those who have benefited most from the agreement are businesspeople and politicians across the Taiwan Strait and not the general public.

This kind of tai-pan monopoly has angered many Taiwanese people who feel excluded and feel they’ve been treated unfairly. This anti-China sentiment gives energy to the New Power Party (whose major leaders are mostly the same as those of the Sunflower Movement that took place in 2014), which has miraculously become established as the third biggest political party in Taiwan. Xi Jinping has taken notice of the situation and has determined to take action. The Ma-Xi Meet Channel