OPINION: Cross-Strait Stalemate: Could a New Paradigm Get the Ball Rolling Again?

It’s time for the Tsai administration to show some initiative in reinvigorating cross-Strait relations.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/10/09
By: Kelvin Chen

Credit: Reuters / TPG

Cross-Strait relations have come to a stand-still since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in April 2016. China has been continuously pressuring her refusal to accept the so-called 1992 consensus (a tacit agreement between Taipei and Beijing that maintains the existence of ‘One China’, but with differing interpretations) and has rejected direct engagement with the Tsai administration unless it wholeheartedly embraces this ‘historic agreement’.

Beijing’s unilateral adamancy for this outdated framework has let relations in the Taiwan Strait to anguish in political limbo. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has rejected this consensus due to its lack of validity, and the party’s advocacy for Taiwanese independence. Furthermore, the oft proposed ‘One Country, Two Systems’ has been proven to be a false promise, as seen in Hong Kong; namely through the 2014 protests and their aftermath, as well as the recent ban of the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party.

Despite unwavering diplomatic isolation and political pressure from China, Tsai Ing-wen has proclaimed her intention of strengthening cross-Strait relations, while upholding the status quo and preserving Taiwanese sovereignty. She has repeatedly voiced her progressive intentions for continued dialogue without accepting the so-called 1992 consensus, promising that any developments would be “in accordance to the Republic of China constitution.” China remains unconvinced of the DPP’s intentions and has closed all major lines of communication, leaving Tsai in a political quagmire. This complication spurs the question: What alternatives can Taiwan pursue in order to continue meaningful dialogue with China?    [FULL  STORY]

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