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United Daily News: A 'new norm' for cross-strait ties

Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi and China's Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun are scheduled to hold their third formal meeting in Taiwan's offshore Kinmen County this weekend. The meeting, which comes on the heels of the ruling Kuomintang's (KMT's) defeat in November's local government elections, can be seen as the starting point of a "new norm" for cross-Taiwan Strait relations. This "new norm" is dominated by a mounting pro-independence sentiment in Taiwan, which might lead to the KMT losing the presidency to the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party in the election due to be held in early 2016. Despite significant progress in cross-strait economic cooperation over the past six years of the KMT being in power, Taiwan still faces difficulty in expanding its international space. Taiwan has not been able to join any new international organizations, and President Ma Ying-jeou's proposal to attend last year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Beijing was turned down by China. This is the main reason why cross-strait relations has not been able to gain more support in Taiwan. As cross-strait ties enter this new norm, Beijing should consider more deeply Taiwan's due dignity in cross-strait interaction. During the upcoming Wang-Zhang meeting, the issue of Taiwan's participation in the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade bloc should be the most important one. This is not only an economic issue but also one concerning Taiwan's international space. (Editorial abstract -- Feb. 5, 2015) (By Y.F. Low)

Updated : 2021-09-23 08:48 GMT+08:00