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United Daily News: Xi's scenario to create new page in history

While there have been a lot of discussions about President Ma Ying-jeou's (???) meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping (???), it is still worth discussing the first face-to-face encounter in nearly seven decades between the top leaders of the two former civil war foes, from the perspective of China. The Economist magazine said Saturday that the summit was perhaps "the biggest concession" on a "core issue" of sovereignty any Chinese leader has made since the early 1980s, when China offered Taiwan a "one-country, two-systems" solution. That means Xi has long been prepared to move Taiwan-China relations into a new phase. Xi would never think that his handshake with Ma could directly lead to Tsai Ing-wen (???) of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party losing Taiwan's presidential election next January. Instead, Beijing is shaping the new phase by allowing more official cross-Taiwan Strait interaction and expanding Taiwan's participation in international organizations based on the "one China" principle. According to United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758, the Republic of China (Taiwan) was expelled from the U.N. in 1971, while the People's Republic of China was recognized as the only legitimate representative of China to the U.N. Since the time when Taiwan was shunned by the international political community, pro-independence political forces in the country have been fostered. Over the past seven years, Beijing has taken several tentative steps to raise Taiwan's global visibility, such as allowing Taiwan to be admitted to World Health Assembly meetings. But those steps have been too small to make any substantial impact, as former Chinese President Hu Jintao (???) was known as a cautious reformer. However, Xi is expected to take a different approach, because he has become a more powerful Chinese leader after his two-year-long anti-corruption campaign. Xi's meeting with Ma was not an impromptu, one-off policy but rather a touchstone for more opening of cross-strait relations. Blocking Taiwan from participation in international bodies will only make the pro-independence political forces in Taiwan stronger, which explains the growing cross-strait tension during Ma's tenure since 2008, despite China's continuing efforts to provide Taiwan with economic benefits. Moreover, China's political and economic concerns over the United States' "return to Asia" strategy has forced Xi's administration to take bolder steps in the development of cross-strait relations, laying the groundwork for his meeting with Ma in order to create a new page in history. (Editorial abstract -- Nov. 15, 2015) (By Jeffrey Wu)

Updated : 2021-09-24 14:30 GMT+08:00