Paul Chong / Saturday, 29 November 2014
Source: China Daily Mail
Deng Xiaoping’s “One Country Two Systems”, as applied successfully in the case of Hong Kong’s return to Mainland China, could well be applied to Taiwan for the peaceful reunification with motherland China.
The situation with Taiwan is however quite different from Hong Kong.
Unlike Hong Kong, Taiwan is a fully democratic entity. It has an army but does not have membership in the United Nations, and China has refused to rule out the use of force to gain control of the island.
President Xi Jinping has popularised “The Chinese Dream is also the dream of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait – our dream of reunification.”
The goal is strategically simple – peaceful unification – through soft power, not armed force. “To attack the heart is the best. To attack a [walled] city is the worst,” quoting the wisdom of Sun Tzu’s “Art of War.”
In the past there was serious tension between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan. Mao even bombarded Taiwan’s islands near the mainland, and according to Henry Kissinger might have triggered a nuclear war.
Deng Xiaoping stopped the bombardment and tried to ease tension in order to attract Taiwanese investment. Seeing Taiwanese businessmen’s contributions to China’s economic growth, Deng switched to the policy of peaceful offensive supplemented by military threat.
This policy switch has been carried on by Deng’s successors. It seems quite effective according to Reuters’ report “Special Report: How China’s shadowy agency is working to absorb Taiwan”. It is really good that a military solution is becoming an increasingly unpopular alternative for Mainland China to reunify with Taiwan.
In fact, even if mainland China is able to take Taiwan by force, what is the use to get an island damaged by war with people hostile to mainland China due to the war?
From Reuters report, we see the possibility of peaceful reunification, as almost all the Taiwanese doing business and having married mainland wives or travelled there have become pro-Beijing.
It is mainly because the mainland has been able to achieve an unprecedented growth & prosperity and improve the rule of law and human rights.
Reuters says in its report, Taiwan’s “Mainland Affairs Council spokesperson Wu Mei-hung said United Front activity shouldn’t be interpreted in an ‘overly negative way’.”
It quotes her as saying “China has some political intentions, but Taiwan has its own advantages in terms of systems, core values and soft power. All of these, we hope, will impact China via exchanges.”
If you believe that China’s system is better then you may come to the conclusion that China will absorb Taiwan peacefully by its United Front efforts.
However, if you believe Taiwan’s system is better than you may think that Taiwan will absorb China peacefully via exchanges.
I believe the final reunited China will either be a mixture that absorbs the advantages of both systems, or allows each to maintain its own system where needed & accepted. Admittedly & sadly so, the recent political upheaval with the “Occupy Central Movement” in Hong Kong is presenting quite a problem. However, there is no question of having no solution whatever the situation.
China can draw out some great inspiration from the success of Ang Lee, a Taiwanese-born American film director, screenwriter and producer,. with his film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”.
China’s strategy & approach to briskly Taiwan will continue to be peaceful & significant headway attained as with “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”.
As it stands, with the recent agreeable exchanges of trade, technology, tourist & social, the future looks bright indeed. This is definitely a step in the right direct direction . . . towards reunification.
The Cross-Strait relations between China & Taiwan has never been any better than today.