Beijing probably has heaved a sigh of relief at the results ofTaiwan's recent municipal elections in which the ruling Kuomintangwon three of the five mayoral seats up for grabs.
The narrow victory achieved by the China-friendly KMT indicatesthat the Taiwan people are generally satisfied with President MaYing-jeou's conciliatory approach to relations across the TaiwanStrait.
Nevertheless, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP),known for its pro-independence policy line, managed to overtake theKMT in the overall vote count.
This indicates that Taiwan's leaders might not be able tomaintain their grip on power solely with a correct and effectivecross-strait policy. If there is another change in ruling parties,the issues of national identity and cross-strait relations could beat the forefront again.
The problem lies mainly in Beijing's denial of the Republic ofChina's existence as a sovereign state and its relentless suppressionof the ROC's international profile. The stronger Beijing's oppressivemoves, the higher the pro-independence sentiment in Taiwan. This iswhy even though President Ma's modus vivendi approach has improvedTaiwan's status at home and abroad, many people still feel the DPP'spro-independence policy could serve as a safety valve in Taiwan'sengagement with China.
We earnestly hope the Chinese leadership will carefully assessthe outcome of Taiwan's latest elections and recognize the ROC as "anequal part of China." Only when the ROC gains a dignified status inthe world can the people of Taiwan abandon the desire to buildanother independent country. (Editorial abstract -- Dec. 3, 2010)
(By Sofia Wu)