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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

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P.K. Chiang's visit to Nanjing: Success or failure?

Dueling headlines

Note the headline of a front-page article in today's Taipei Times:
DPP chief slams cross-strait talks as failure

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday that Sunday's round of cross-strait talks were a failure that made concessions on sovereignty but did not help Taiwanese businesses.

Tsai said the failure of the talks was inevitable given President Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) "mindset."

She said the Ma government made four mistakes: It made concessions on sovereignty before the talks; it relied too much on China's goodwill and the Chinese economy; it avoided consultation with or supervision from the legislature and opposition parties; and it had no way of ensuring that national security officials and the government's negotiators had no conflict of interest.

Tsai said Ma had made a comment supporting Chinese President Hu Jintao's (胡錦濤) speech marking the 30th anniversary of Beijing's "open letter to Taiwanese compatriots," which highlighted the "one China" principle, and which was a concession on sovereignty.

The government also gave up negotiations on the "fifth freedom of the air," essentially implying that cross-strait flights are domestic flights, she said.
Compare that with the front-page headline of yesterday's China Post

I don't think that ''success'' means the same thing to the China Post that it does to others
I don't think that "success" means the same thing
to the China Post that it does to others
(Click to enlarge)
SUCCESS IN NANJING

[...]

P.K. Chiang, chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), signed the agreements on financial cooperation, regular flights across the Taiwan Strait, and joint efforts to fight crime with his Chinese counterpart Chen Yunlin at the former capital of the Republic of China in the afternoon. Chen, chairman of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), spoke before the signing, pledging more foreign direct investment in Taiwan and welcoming Taiwan entrepreneurs to invest in China.

SEF and ARATS are quasi-governmental organizations charged with the conduct of relations between the two sides of the strait.

They met for the third time since President Ma Ying-jeou was inaugurated in May of last year, easing the tensions across the strait, while his predecessor Chen Shui-bian carried on his policy of creeping independence for Taiwan.
The China Post, you may notice, does one decent thing by putting P.K. Chiang and Chen Yunlin on equal footing. On the other hand, however, they both ignore the real problems pointed out by Tsai Ing-wen, and they conjure up imaginary ones such as "creeping independence."

Home field advantage
Considering that this took place in the old ROC capital -- on China's turf -- where official Chinese media referred to Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) as "President" of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) while Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤, AKA P.K. Chiang) was called the "Chairman" of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) (hardly on "equal footing"), I'd agree with both headlines. It's "success" for those on China's side but yet another failure for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in their dealings with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Debase? How low can you go?
For the DPP, it's obvious that they wouldn't budge on whatever the status quo was at the time and that they'd never give an inch when it came to Taiwan's sovereignty. However, what I see for the KMT's own "bottom line" is that they have no bottom line.

Fool me once, shame on you. But the shameless KMT will let the CCP fool them as many times as it takes for Taiwan to be annexed.

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Cross-posted at It's Not Democracy, It's A Conspiracy!

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