Monday, December 21, 2009

Taiwan, a caged bird of China

Taiwan Strait@Peter Peng's blog

Reunification with Taiwan is a target China will never give up even if it faces a total loss on what it has gotten from its development in the past decades. To achieve the target, carrots plus bats are always the strategy used by China to deal with Taiwan issues.

One more carrot is bringing to Taiwan these days by Chen Yunlin, the president of the Chinese mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS). On Dec. 22, 2009, a cross-Strait talk will be held between him and Chiang Pin-kung, the Chairman of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) in Taichung of Taiwan, regarding labor cooperation in the fishing industry, cooperation in the fields of inspection and quarantine of farm produce and standard measurement authentication, avoidance of double taxation and boosting taxation cooperation, which will benefit both sides. If the talk is successful, the two sides could talk further at a proper time later about the cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), which will bring down the tariffs of Taiwan exports to ASEAN and China next year.

While taking carrots to Taiwan, China never forgets to prepare bats, in case Taiwan goes to independence. Although China has many issues around its boarder such as Daoyudao (Senkaku Islands) with Japan, South China Sea with some south Asian countries, and Arunachal Pradesh with India, using force to reunify with Taiwan may be its top priority in comparison. That is because Beijing knows that it has no guarantee China could control the war-scale once the military conflicts break out with any of its neighbors, and Taiwan may also take the chance to declare independence during a long period of war between China and its adversary. Therefore, China may have to confront not only the adversary, but also Taiwan and the United States. This is a scenario China does not want to see.

Beijing also knows, if China could solve the Taiwan issue ahead of the issues with the other countries, the situation would be entirely different. First, on international, the Taiwan issue is an internal issue of China, and each country having a diplomatic relation with China has admitted that Taiwan is one part of China. If China could find an excuse to use force on Taiwan, it is easy for China to find a standpoint on international law in the face of the blames from the world and to give an explanation to its civilians.

Second, the biggest obstacle of Sino-U.S. relationship is the Taiwan issue. Without the Taiwan problem, China could be entirely friendly with the United States. Because of complement economic ties between the two countries, the interests of co-operation between two would be far greater than confrontation, as long as China only concentrates on its regional interests and respects U.S. interests in the world.

Third, China militarily has already had the capability to take Taiwan under its control after so many years of preparation.

Fourth, China would geographically open its way into Pacific Ocean and economically take the advantages of Taiwan resources after re-unification. Without the Taiwan problem but a better relationship with U.S., China would feel much easier to solve its international disputes with neighbors.

Upon the consideration above, unification with Taiwan is the first objective China is stepping forward firmly before solving its international disputes. By the recent trend, it seems nothing can stop but only delay the development. The incumbent ruling party KMT is giving the chance for China to use carrots, and the opposition DDP that inclines independence will give China the excuse to use bats if the DDP takes the power of Taiwan in the future. In both aspects, Taiwan has already been a caged bird of China. Time is the only problem for the unification to walk out under the carrots and bats from China.