Cross-strait status quo increasingly difficult to maintain: Scholar

09/21/2022 10:13 PM
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The 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party is held in Beijing in 2017. Photo: China News Service
The 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party is held in Beijing in 2017. Photo: China News Service

Taipei, Sept. 21 (CNA) It will become increasingly difficult to sustain the cross-strait status quo, a Taiwanese scholar said Wednesday, predicting Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) will focus more on "unifying Taiwan" in the future.

Commenting on Xi's legacy over the past decade, Chao Chun-shan (趙春山), an emeritus professor at the Institute of China Studies at Tamkang University in New Taipei, said Xi would try to change the status quo after the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in October.

Although Taiwan does not significantly lean toward unification or independence despite different political parties -- whether the pro-unification Kuomintang (KMT) or pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) are in power -- Chao said Xi would not allow this ambiguity to continue.

Xi may introduce measures that push for unification, but he will not rush and risk sacrificing the greater interests of China, Chao said in an interview with CNA.

For example, China's Taiwan Affairs Office under the State Council did not presented a timetable when asked about unification with Taiwan during a press conference on Wednesday that reviewed the cross-strait relations since the party's 18th national congress, Chao said.

The relations between China and the United States could dominate how Xi handles the Taiwan issue in the future as the DPP increasingly depends on the U.S. based on its distrust of the Chinese Communist Party, according to Chao.

There is zero chance for negotiations between the two sides unless the DPP acknowledges the "1992 consensus," he said.

'1992 consensus'

The "1992 consensus," a tacit understanding reached between the then-KMT government and the Chinese government in 1992, is interpreted by the KMT to mean both sides of the strait acknowledge that there is only "one China," with each side free to interpret what "China" means.

The DPP has called the consensus an "illusion," because China does not recognize that each side is free to interpret "one China" as it sees fit.

Chao noted that Xi has become tougher diplomatically, militarily and economically in dealing with Taiwan over the past 10 years, but has also offered more concrete incentives to try to boost support for unification in Taiwan.

Taiwan should pay attention to how Xi adjusts these measures in the future, Chao said.

(By Lu Chia-jung and Lee Hsin-Yin)


> Chinese Version

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