The Hung-Xi meeting has not revealed anything new we did not already know, but it may be that a poor response from the DPP or a failure of the DPP to manage international perceptions of the meeting can still be a threat to maintaining Taiwan’s de facto independence.
The News Lens
By: Brian Hioe
The fact that Hung Hsiu-chu’s (洪秀柱) meeting with Xi Jinping (習近平) in Beijing has largely been a
non-event in Taiwan probably attests to its futility. Given that Hung is already known for outlandishly extreme pro-unification views, Hung’s meeting with Xi probably does not really surprise the Taiwanese public, in the way that Eric Chu’s (朱立倫) or Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) meetings with Xi Jinping in 2015 provoked stronger reactions. Hence the lack of any real public response. But does the Hung-Xi meeting indicate anything new?
Hung’s meeting with Xi takes place through the auspices of yearly interparty meetings between the Kuomintang (KMT) and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) which have taken place since 2005, with Hung and Xi meeting in their capacities as chairpersons of the KMT and CCP respectively. Such meetings are conducted on the basis of the so-called “special historical relationship” of the KMT and CCP. Namely, the historical animosity of the KMT and CCP dating back to the defeat of the KMT during the Chinese Civil War, which led to its flight to Taiwan, has given way to shared interests in achieving the unification of Taiwan and China. Seeing as the KMT retaking China by force has become impossible, the ideological priority of KMT diehards has become achieving unification in any form, something which goes hand-in-hand with a rosy view of Chinese authoritarianism.
Hung has indicated a desire to meet with Xi for some time, with public statements suggesting that the KMT would not hesitate to take cross-Strait relations into its own hands because of its lack of faith in the Tsai administration to maintain peace with China. Though the focus of the forum was originally economic development between Taiwan and China, given the recent deterioration of ties between Taiwan and China since the Tsai administration took office, the focus of the forum has been changed to “peaceful cross-strait development.” Hung had previously met Xi as part of Eric Chu’s delegation to Beijing in March 2015. [FULL STORY]