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Talk of the Day: Greater One China concept

2014/05/28 17:30:27

The concept of a "Greater One China" framework initiated by former Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Shih Ming-teh and six others on Tuesday as a basis for Taipei and Beijing to sidestep their political differences and move forward made headlines in most newspapers in Taiwan on Wednesday.

The following are excerpts from leading newspapers' coverage of the proposal:

United Daily News:

It was said that former Premier Hao Pei-tsun was one of the proposal's original initiators, but he dropped out of the group because he didn't see eye-to-eye with Shih on the student-led protests in March.

Hao decried the protests as a rebellion, or a coup d'etat, but Shih, whose daughter joined the protesters in occupying the Legislature to press their demand for a halt in the review of Taiwan's trade-in-services pact with China, came to the defense of the protesters.

Hao finally decided to withdraw from the group after his son, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, was appointed as one of the vice chairmen of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) to spare his son the embarrassment of having a father who took issue with the KMT's policy toward China.

Shih expressed disappointment at Hao Pei-tsun's withdrawal, but said the former premier had participated in the group's discussions many times. Hao even had one of his son's close aides, former National Taiwan University professor Chuang Wen-si, join the discussions from the very beginning.

Shih said he was eager to have Hao Pei-tsun as one of the initiators because the sharp contrast between Hao, a former military strongman, and Shih, a former political prisoner, would underline the fact that the group was bipartisan.

Liberty Times:

Koh Se-kai, Taiwan's representative to Tokyo under President Chen Shui-bian, said the Greater One China concept would jeopardize Taiwan by stripping the country of the right to conclude defense alliances with other countries.

Contending that the concept was similar to a federation with China as advocated by KMT Honorary Chairman Lien Chan many years ago, Koh said Lien failed to sell his idea to Beijing and wondered how Shih would do any better.

If Beijing doesn't accept the Greater One China framework, why should Taiwan tie its own hands by forsaking its sovereignty and acknowledging it is a part of China? Koh asked.

China Times:

Yu Keli, the former director of the Institute of Taiwan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, lauded the "Greater One China" concept as an effort by public figures in Taiwan to build a consensus on "one China" between the ruling KMT and the opposition Democratic Progressive Party.

He said Beijing would be interested in discussing the concept with Taiwan, but it was not practical to think Beijing will embrace it.

Yan Anlin, a research fellow at the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, shared Yu's opinion, contending that the part of the framework describing mainland China and Taiwan as two entities under the Greater One China sounded very much like a description of two independent states and is sure to be rejected by China.

Another part of the framework that would allow both sides to join the United Nations and other international bodies would also likely be unacceptable to China, Yan said.

(By Maubo Chang)
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Related stories:
●May 28: Beijing refuses to comment on "Greater One China" concept
●May 27: Bipartisan group proposes 'greater one China' concept