Feb 04, 2016

Taiwan: Beijing Reverts Back to ‘One-China’ Rhetoric

Top Communist Party leader Yu Zhengsheng has indicated that in the future the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will look to increase communication and exchanges with those Taiwanese parties and groups that uphold the one-China principle. This statement reiterates the previous policy approach by the mainland, and follows closely the recent election victory of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party last month. However, other commentators have suggested that, rather than being a concrete indication of tactics, it in fact indicates Beijing has yet to finalise its stance towards the incoming administration.


Below is an article published by the South China Morning Post: 


Beijing’s top Communist Party leader on Taiwan affairs said yesterday (01/02/2016) the mainland would increase exchanges with Taiwan parties and groups that upheld the one-China principle.

Yu Zhengsheng, the Communist Party’s No.4 and top political advisor, also said the mainland would stick to its current Taiwan policy – a stance that suggested, according to one analyst, that Beijing was still figuring out how to deal with the island’s president-elect Tsai Ing-wen and her new administration.

The comments, which come as the party convenes its annual cross-strait affairs conference, follow the victory of Taiwan’s pro-independence party in the island’s presidential and legislature elections last month (16/01/2016).

“We will unswervingly…adhere to the one-China principle, firmly oppose and contain ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist activities in any form, safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity and push forward the peaceful development of cross-strait relations,” Xinhua quoted Yu as saying.

“The peaceful development of cross-strait ties is the correct path, and no one can resist the trend,” he added.

A statement released after the meeting said efforts would be made to promote economic integration across the Taiwan Strait, including industrial and financial cooperation, to benefit as many small businesses, farmers and fishermen as possible. It said more measures would be adopted to facilitate exchanges in culture, education, tourism and religion.

The mainland would increase exchanges with Taiwan parties and groups that upheld the one-China principle to safeguard the “common political foundation” shared by the two sides, Xinhua reported.

“The common political foundation” refers to the “1992 Consensus” between the Communist Party and Taiwan’s then ruling Kuomintang on the one-China principle. The principle mandates that the mainland and Taiwan are part of the same sovereign country, but leaves room for different interpretations as to which regime is its sole legitimate government.

Chiu Chui-Cheng, a researcher at Taiwan’s National Quemoy University, said Yu’s remarks had not broken new ground. “It was a reprise of the previous narratives,” said Chiu. “Probably the mainland has yet to finalise its tactics towards the upcoming Tsai administration.”

Before Tsai took office on May 20, the two sides would probably continue to try to find a common ground, he said.