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China Times: Putting an elephant into a refrigerator

China Times: Putting an elephant into a refrigerator

Putting an elephant into a refrigerator involves four steps: opening the refrigerator, finding the elephant, putting the elephant in and closing the fridge door. If we see cross-Taiwan Strait differences as a rampaging elephant that can damage peace between the two sides, then the question of how to shelve the differences and put the elephant into a refrigerator is a top priority for the governments on both sides. Opposition Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (???), who is running for president in 2016, recently said that maintaining the cross-strait status quo is her party's basic principle for handling relations between Taiwan and China. This is a constructive first step by Tsai, which represents opening the refrigerator. Her next steps should be identifying the elephant and saying clearly what she means by "maintaining the status quo." President Ma Ying-jeou has defined the status quo as "no unification, no independence, and no use of force." Although such an approach is not perfect, there is common ground among the majority in Taiwan on that concept. While Tsai is likely to support "no unification" and "no use of force," the issue of "no independence" will pose a problem for her due to pressure from pro-independence forces within the DPP. One way to solve that problem would be to define "no independence" as "not pursuing de jure independence for Taiwan." If Tsai cannot accept the "no unification, no independence, no use of force" approach, she has a responsibility to explain to the people the difference between "maintaining the status quo" and "no unification, no independence, and no use of force." To move the elephant into the refrigerator, Tsai should include a definition of "maintaining the status quo" in her campaign promises and the DPP's platform. The final step will be securing the status quo, which means Tsai would have to break away from the pro-independence factions within her party. For Tsai, opening the refrigerator is the easiest part. The next three steps will be more difficult. She would be naive to think that the elephant will simply walk into the refrigerator once the door is open. (Editorial abstract -- April 17, 2015) (By Y.F. Low)


Updated : 2021-09-17 20:26 GMT+08:00