President Xi Jinping targets making China a developed country by 2050 and achieving unification with Taiwan by 2049
Beijing has also recently waived the entry permit requirement for Taiwanese planning to travel to China, while establishing a pilot free trade zone in Fujian province and encouraging young Taiwanese to start businesses there.
In his latest book, One Man’s View of the World, Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew says that Taiwan’s unification with China is only a matter of time and that efforts to separate the two sides of the Taiwan Strait will only make the process more painful for the people of Taiwan. Unification has become a political taboo in Taiwan and as the former Singapore leader has been a friend to the country in the past, his frank remarks are difficult for many to accept. Moreover, the painful process of unification with China, as Lee describes it, is a reality the Taiwanese have already witnessed due to political disputes between pro-independence and pro-unification camps and the loss of its global competitiveness.
Three questions arise from Lee’s prediction in his book: Do people want unification? Will we see unification? Should there be unification? Whether one supports unification or independence for Taiwan has become akin to a religious belief that leaves little room for a rational exchange of views between parties on opposing sides. Calling Lee’s remarks interference in Taiwan’s internal affairs, pro-independence supporters mostly dodged issues raised in his statements rather than responding to them. Regarding the probability of Taiwan’s unification with China, Lee said the decision would not be made by the will of Taiwanese people but as a result of economic factors and the international situation. Lee said further that gradual and inevitable economic integration will serve to bring Taiwan and China closer and to become codependent. He also said that it was unrealistic for pro-independence supporters to pin their hopes on an intervention by the United States if war with China should break out. Read more…
This means that Taiwan will have to ask China’s permission to join. What will China request in exchange? I’m guessing it will only be a small, technical concession. The concession – whatever it turns out to be – will have later implications for reunification, of course.
MAKING ROOM FOR TAIWAN
U.S. imperialists invaded China’s territory of Taiwan and has occupied it for the past nine years.
A short while ago it sent its armed forces to invade and occupy Lebanon. The United States has set up hundreds of military bases in many countries all over the world. China’s territory of Taiwan, Lebanon and all military bases of the United States on foreign soil are so many nooses round the neck of U.S. imperialism. The nooses have been fashioned by the Americans themselves and by nobody else, and it is they themselves who have put these nooses round their own necks, handing the ends of the ropes to the Chinese people, the peoples of the Arab countries and all the peoples of the world who love peace and oppose aggression. The longer the U.S. aggressors remain in those places, the tighter the nooses round their necks will become – Mao Tse Tung, September 8, 1958, at the Supreme State Conference.
Reuniting with Taiwan has been China’s core strategic goal for 60 years. Now the vagrant province is on the glide-path to reunification during President Xi’s tenure. Happily, China has been reabsorbing wayward provinces since Jesus walked the earth and it’s a familiar ritual whose celebrants know their roles.
For all but the terminally deluded like Taiwan’s ex-President Chen Shui-ban, currently languishing in jail for his naivety, reunification was always a foregone conclusion. The Jovian pull of China’s gravitational field is irresistible.
It’s so strong that, during my annual visits to Australia the country’s leading businesspeople – on the front pages of the national press and on their mainstream TV – loudly advocate replacing Australia’s US alliance with a Chinese one. Australia’s continued alliance with the US is a ‘hindrance’ they say, and a ‘danger’.
The same tractor-beam that attracts big, distant Australia draws tiny, close Taiwan closer each day. Heads of both of Taiwan’s major political parties – urged on by their leading industrialists – have already pilgrimaged to The Forbidden City and pledged allegiance to the Emperor.
Like repentant schismatics over the centuries they were sent back to their island-province laden with gold, fine silks, and even finer promises. Promises to upgrade the wealth and status of the Taiwanese elite, to grant privileged access for every Taiwanese industry, and promises to continuing to stream millions of wealthy mainland tourists to keep the island’s hotels and stores filled to capacity. More than 3 million of them will arrive this year, and the program is just getting started.
Taiwan’s banks and insurance companies, savvier marketers than their mainland rivals, get access to China’s conservative, under-insured, increasingly wealthy consumers. Doors closed to foreigners will be opened for Taiwan.
New legislation already promise such obscure benefits as access to China’s inland waterways, the cheapest freight access to the heartland. Soon Taiwanese vessels will sail thousands of kilometres up the Yangtze and the Yalu to deliver Taiwanese cargoes. No outside country – Japan or South Korea – can dream of such access. There’s an exhaustive list of concessions and every item on it has an assigned ‘minder’, a mainland bureaucrat responsible for ensuring that good things happen for Taiwan.
In addition to the gravitational pull two recent developments have accelerated the convergence.
President-elect Xi’s campaign to clean up mainland corruption (currently no worse than Taiwan’s, according to Taiwanese investors) adds significantly to the attraction of reunification. Xi is an uncommonly moral man (“a Chinese Mandela” according to Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew). If he can do for China what he did for Shanghai – which has been exemplary in its honesty and efficiency since Xi’s cleanup – it will be a powerful attractant to island Chinese who share mainlanders’ longing for moral leadership.
Japan has hastened reunification by playing its familiar role as aggressor. On a clear day Taiwanese can see the Diaoyu Islands. Taiwanese regard them as ‘theirs’ just as passionately as mainlanders do. They know that only China can enforce their sovereignty in the face of Japan’s grab. The threat to the Diaoyus has done more to weaken the Taiwan independence movement than any event since 1947.
It also helps that Xi has family in Taiwan. Given his genial image a ‘family’ visit to Taiwan is easy to imagine around, say 2020.
Reunification is all over bar the shouting.
The already muted shouting will be reduced to grumbling until Taiwanese public sentiment catches up. Then it’s a matter of implementing the already-agreed negotiation terms. Taiwan is getting a deal so good – Keep your own system while we make you richer – that nearby Okinawans will eye it enviously (see this, for example: http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/10609).
In addition to privileged access to continental China, Taiwan will enjoy a ‘peace dividend’. Most of the island’s $20 billion annual defence budget will be plowed back into shiny new infrastructure. Taiwanese pilots will get new Chinese fighters, their generals promotions and decorations. That’s why Taiwan isn’t pushing for F-16s any more.
The Taiwan schism is the last wound still suppurating after our attacks on China began 200 years ago. Its healing will allow China to accelerate its social reform program and greatly relax its posture in the region and in the world. The celebration will make the Beijing Olympics look like a sideshow.
- Submarine fiber-optic cable links Taiwan, China.
- Taiwan to Let Banks do Yuan Trade.
- Taiwanese permitted to invest in Chinese public companies – a privilege heretofore given to mainland Chinese citizens.
- Beijing and Taipei plan exchange of government officials: Representative offices on both sides of strait will house government officials, who may be granted privileges enjoyed by foreign diplomats
- Senior U.S. senator faults Taiwan over arms “complacency”When it comes to Taiwan’s military capabilities, there seems to be a puzzling sense of complacency in Taipei, said Senator John Cornyn. Gosh, I wonder why?
- Ma less trustworthy than Xi Jinping: poll
The two sides of the Taiwan Strait will soon begin a new stage of interaction in the wake of power transition in the Communist Party of China (CPC), according to local media reports.
Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang has confirmed that its honorary chairman, Lien Chan, will depart for Beijing Feb. 24 for a four-day visit at the head of a delegation of KMT officials and business executives.
Media reports said Lien, a former vice president of the Rwan), is visiting Beijing at the invitation of the CPC’s upper echelons and that he wil
The following comment by a Taiwanese reader on guancha caught our attention.
4. 在台灣島內，多數人民的首要矛盾問題是經濟與民生問題，但這６年來國民黨在馬英九的領導下完全無能無所作為；統獨問題作為次要矛盾問題，在我的認識，許多台灣人都抱持著鴕鳥心態 — 既或是傾向獨立的綠營支持者，很多人心底也都知道或默認，統一是遲早與無法抗拒的，只能持著消極抵制心態應對。而對大陸人來說，在台灣問題上，統獨是首要矛盾問題，台灣的經濟與民生問題是次要問題。而當台灣人因為自己的首要矛盾問題票投綠營時，會讓許多大陸人認為台灣走向獨立之路，或是刻意想與大陸對抗，這是許多大陸人不了解台灣社會實際情況所產生的誤解與誤讀，希望觀察網的朋友對此點有重新的認識。
Here is my quick translation:
As a Taiwanese who supports unification, I want to share the following thoughts regarding the recent Taiwanese elections with readers on guancha.
1. Even though the KMT has been handed an utter defeat and the DPP candidates won triumphantly, the results do not necessarily mean that Taiwanese are somehow turning pro-independent. The fundamental reasons for the DPP success are: 1. Ma Yin Jeou’s failures over last six years to provide anything of value to Taiwan’s middle and lower class and the perception by the vast majority of Taiwanese people that its administration is beholden to the vested interests and wealthy. 2. The perception that KMT is corrupt when the KMT selected the son of Lian Zhan [rich Taiwanese KMT politician] to run for the Taipei Mayoral elections. Many Taiwanese see only a few wealthy and connected – including the rank and files of KMT – benefiting from Taiwan’s current relationship with the Mainland, with most average Taiwanese locked out of the Mainland’s economic development.
2. The central government in Beijing needs to reassess its hands-off policy on Taiwan. It currently relies on the KMT and cross-strait businesses to cultivate its image and message in Taiwan. The central government needs to be more directly involved – perhaps through more grassroots organization in Taiwan – to foster a new type of political awareness, message, and image in Taiwan. As I have suggested before, the central government must foster more pro-active, people-to-people contacts to promote unification with Taiwan.
3. If the DPP does not come up with a coherent policy toward the mainland – dropping its pro-independence officially once and for all – then its chance of winning the 2016 Presidential election would be next-to-nil.
4. For most people on Taiwan, the most important and pressing issues of the day is economics. The Taiwanese middle class has has its income stagnate for some time, and many today blame their various problems (high unemployment, income stagnation, etc.) on Ma’s policy over the last six years. The issue of independence / unification for Taiwanese is secondary. Most Taiwanese understand that unification is inevitable but do not necessarily see a need to rush. On the other hand, from the Mainland’s perspective, the independence / unification issue is paramount. Economics is secondary. This dichotomy in perspective may lead to misunderstanding – including misunderstanding what the most recent results really means.
By Chen Hui-ping and Stacy Hsu / Staff reporter, with staff writer/ Taipei Times
SHAKY SUPPORT:More than half of the respondents said they do not trust President Ma, compared with 34.4 percent who said they are skeptical of the new Chinese leader
Taiwan allows Chinese banks to buy bigger stakes in local lenders | TODAYonline-
Taiwan will ease rules to allow Chinese banks to buy bigger stakes in local banks and permit more Chinese firms to invest in its financial industry, the island’s financial regulator said on Monday, marking a major advance in cross-strait ties.
BEIJING, June 9 (Xinhua) — Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, will meet with Wu Po-hsiung, honorary chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) later this month, a mainland spokeswoman announced on Sunday.
Wu will lead a KMT delegation from Taiwan on a visit to the mainland from June 12 to 14, according to Fan Liqing, of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office.
Xi will exchange views with him on issues such as relations between the CPC and KMT as well as mainland-Taiwan ties, Fan said.
The spokeswoman said the meeting will be “an important activity” in the high-level exchanges between the two parties under new circumstances.
A press release posted on the KMT official website on Sunday also praised the upcoming meeting as a “new beginning” and said both sides are attaching great importance to it.
KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou will meet with some of the delegation members before they leave for the mainland, the release said.
It described the meeting as a “constructive dialogue” that indicates the two parties’ emphasis on the KMT-CPC platform and their commitment to maintaining and advancing the peaceful development of cross-Strait ties.
THE Chinese mainland has promised to guarantee social welfare for former Kuomintang soldiers who fought Japanese aggressors about seven decades ago.The move is considered part of the mainland’s recognition of the contribution by those soldiers in defending the country’s territory and protecting its people in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression during World War II.KMT soldiers injured or disabled in the war, as well as those who joined the People’s Liberation Army, should enjoy the same treatment as other former service people, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said in a statement.The government is also providing social assistance to those who were released from the military after the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and did not join the PLA, it said.
Taiwan and China hit a major milestone in bilateral ties on Sunday when their respective heads of cross-strait affairs met for the first time and addressed each other by their formal titles, according to Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council and local scholars.
Chang Wu-ueh, a noted expert on China, said the demeanor of Wang Yu-chi, minister of the Mainland Affairs Council, and China’s Taiwan Affairs Office director Zhang Zhijun during their meeting in Indonesia has set a precedent for more officials to use their formal titles in future bilateral meetings.
The meeting means a future visit by Wang to China or one by Zhang to Taiwan is no longer inconceivable, said Chang, who heads the Graduate Institute of China Studies at Tamkang University in New Taipei. Read more here….
TAIPEI – Taiwan’s communication administrative authority has approved the first submarine communication cable directly linking both sides of the Taiwan Straits, enabling the cable to come into commercial service.
Communication operators in Taiwan told Xinhua on Monday that once put into use, the cable will be capable of carrying cross-Strait communications with a bandwidth of 6.4Tb/s. Operators in Taiwan previously had to use international cables in Japan or the Republic of Korea to connect with the mainland, and the new direct link will improve the quality and speed of cross-Straits communications.
The cable will also facilitate the cross-Straits market for e-business, mobile communications and cloud services.
Yen-Sung Lee, chairman of Taiwan communication operator Chunghwa Telecom, said the cable is expected to enhance the communications market as well as exchanges between people on the two sides.
Taiwan Mobile said in a statement that data collected by the company revealed that the cross-Straits broadband communications market has been growing at an annual rate of 20 to 30 percent in recent years.
The statement said the company is planning to cooperate with mainland partners to explore cloud computing business on the mainland.
A senior executive with Far Eastone, another Taiwan communications company, believes the market demand for telecommunication integration solutions may double next year.
Construction of the cable finished in January with investment from communication operators on both sides. With a length of 270 km, the cable connects the city of Fuzhou in Fujian province on the mainland and Tamsui in Taiwan.
China and Taiwan should resolve their long-standing political disagreements, Chinese President Xi Jinping said yesterday, as he seeks to address a six-decade division after forging closer economic ties. China is willing to hold talks with Taiwan on an equal basis under the “One China” principle, Xi said in a meeting with Taiwanese envoy Vincent Siew while the two were attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali, Indonesia, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. “We cannot hand those problems down from generation to generation,” Xi said, according to Xinhua.
Taiwan announces landmark China visit
Officials set date for talks next month, paving the way for first high-level meetings in six decades. A leading politician in Taiwan has plans to visit mainland China next month for the first official contact between the rival states in six decades.Taiwan’s chief policymaker on China announced his impending visit on Tuesday in a press briefing.
Wang Yu-chi, chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, is scheduled to fly to the mainland on February 11 to meet his Chinese counterpart, Zhang Zhijun, leader of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office.
“The trip has crucial implications for further institutionalisation of the ties between the two sides of the Straits,” Wang told a press briefing.
– Al Jazeera, Jan 28, 2014
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s top official in charge of relations with Taiwan will make his first visit to the island later this month, state media said, following large-scale protests there against a controversial trade pact.
Zhang Zhijun, director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, will become the first head of the body ever to visit the self-ruled island, the official Xinhua news agency said late on Thursday.
He will spend four days in Taiwan, Xinhua said, and apart from visiting capital Taipei will also go to three other places, including Kaohsiung in the heavily pro-independence south of the island. China says it will not countenance an independent Taiwan.
China and Taiwan have been ruled separately since Nationalist forces, defeated by the Communists, fled to the island at the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. China considers Taiwan a renegade province and has never ruled out the use of force to bring it under its control.
But in recent years the two sides have built up extensive economic ties, and in February they held their first direct government-to-government talks, in China, a big step towards expanding cross-strait dialogue beyond trade. Read more at Reuters..