Author: Yang Sheng
Posted on: Global Times, May 22nd, 2017
General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Xi Jinping has urged newly elected Kuomintang (KMT) chairman Wu Den-yih to «firmly oppose Taiwan independence,» as the latter showed vagueness toward unification.
Xi said in his message to Wu that he hopes the two parties keep in mind the well-being of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, adhere to the 1992 Consensus and «firmly oppose Taiwan independence,» the Xinhua News Agency reported.
The CPC and KMT should stick to the correct direction for the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, and strive to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, Xi said.
In his reply to Xi’s message, Wu thanked Xi for his congratulatory message, saying that he expects the two parties to continue to consolidate the 1992 Consensus and promote the institutionalization of peace across the Straits.
Wu said he hopes the two parties will continue to promote Chinese culture, advance the sustainable development of both sides and join each other on the road to a bright future, Xinhua reported.
Wu’s position is not as clear as that of former KMT chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu. Hung said she supports unification with the Chinese mainland, but Wu refused to promise the same, Lü Cuncheng, a research fellow at the Institute of Taiwan Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Sunday.
Taiwan media quoted Wu as saying it is not necessary for the KMT to stick to its past stance of unification, although independence is also not an option. He allegedly said if anyone in Taiwan wants unification, he or she can just move to the mainland without «implicating the 23 million people in Taiwan.»
Many Net users are disappointed with Wu’s ambiguity.
«The mainland’s Anti-Secession Law would be the institution of peace,» read one comment posted on Sunday.
The hawkish tone in the Chinese mainland is understandable because Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration led by Tsai Ing-wen has ruined cross-Straits relations, and hostility to the Chinese mainland from «Taiwan Independence» supporters has seriously damaged Chinese mainland people’s goodwill to Taiwan, Lü said.
Wu Den-yih won 144,408 votes, or 52.24 percent, beating five other candidates -Hung, vice chairman Hau Lung-bin, former legislator Han Kuo-yu, former KMT vice chairman Steve Chan Chi-shean, and former legislator Pan Wei-kang, Xinhua reported.
Over 58 percent of KMT members with voting rights cast their vote.
Need for patience
The Chinese mainland has enough time, confidence and advantage to unify Taiwan peacefully, said Chu Yin, an associate professor at the University of International Relations.
As long as the KMT and DPP continue to struggle for power in Taiwan, one of them will choose to acknowledge the 1992 Consensus and develop healthy relations with the Chinese mainland, and we will have the chance to expand and deepen economic ties with Taiwan, and this is the foundation for peaceful unification, Chu said.
«Time is on our side, no need to threaten Taiwan militarily at this moment. Wu is a party leader and is capable of leading the KMT over the DPP in the next election,» Chu added.
Compared to Hung, Wu is not firm on supporting unification, but at least he is better than Tsai. Wu will follow the former Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou’s policy on cross-Straits relations, Lü said.
«However, the people on the island should realize that the Chinese mainland still remains patient and Taiwan should return to the one-China principle to boost economic and people-to-people exchanges with the mainland. The future of cross-Straits relations depends on the Chinese mainland’s strength and will. Once the mainland loses patience, it will be too late,» Lü stressed.