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Scholars predict China, DPP engagement in 2011

2010/12/25 18:22:15

Taipei, Dec. 25 (CNA) China will talk more about the "1992consensus" than the one China principle, while Taiwan's oppositionDemocratic Progressive Party (DPP) will seek dialogue with Chinawithout giving up its pro-independence stance in 2011, scholarspredicted Saturday.

"China is expected to maintain its support of Taiwan's rulingKuomintang (KMT) and President Ma Ying-jeou. At the same time, itwill launch dialogue with the DPP as a hedging strategy, " LaiI-chung, a researcher of the Taiwan Thinktank, said in a symposiumorganized by the pro-independence Taiwan New Century Foundation.

China is likely to talk more about the "1992 consensus" andanti-Taiwan independence in the coming year rather than itslong-standing one China principle, Lai said, because it does not wantto jeopardize President Ma Ying-jeou's re-election bid in 2012 with ahawkish position.

The DPP, meanwhile, is expected to show pragmatism in its newChina policy, which has not yet been formulated, in order to move toa more centrist position for the 2012 presidential election,according to Lai.

Lai forecast that the DPP, under the leadership of ChairwomanTsai Ing-wen, will present its new China policy based on a 1999resolution stating that the DPP upholds that Taiwan is an independentcountry named the Republic of China.

The party will likely highlight the risk management ofcross-Taiwan Strait economic exchanges and seek dialogue with Chinawithout prerequisites, he said, adding that China will also seek toengage the DPP.

But the engagement will be confined to scholarly exchanges ratherthan a party-to-party dialogue, since the DPP still advocates Taiwanindependence, he said.

Yan Jiann-fa, a professor at Ching Yun University who served inthe former DPP government, said the DPP is going through atransformation period, in particular in its China policy.

Citing a public opinion poll conducted by Global Views magazinein May 2009 revealing that 48.5 percent of the respondents favoredeventual independence over 16.2 percent who preferred eventualunification, Yang said the DPP had realized a change of direction isneeded for the party.

While the independence-unification issue has always been the mostsensitive and critical issue in Taiwan's political debates, neitherTaiwan nor China are in a hurry to touch upon the issue, Yan said.

"Beijing is not in a hurry to unify with Taiwan as long as Taiwandoes not `stray too far, ' because it has its own domestic andexterior problems to handle, " he said.

Yan added that it would be better for Taiwan to focus on solvingmore urgent domestic issues at present, such as decreasing the wealthgap and improving national spatial planning, both of which affect theeveryday lives of the people.

(By Chris Wang)