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Thursday, November 8, 2007

In the news ニュース

The headline in Wednesday's Daily Yomiuri couldn't have said it better: "Taiwan negotiator: China should abandon one-China principle for talks".

"Citing Chinese President Hu Jintao's offer of talks with Taiwan made during the Communist Party Congress in October, Hong Chi-chang, head of the semiofficial Straits Exchange Foundation that deals with its mainland counterpart in the absence of official ties, said, 'As long as China holds to its "one China" principle as a precondition, it's impossible to have dialogue on a peace agreement, no matter who is [Taiwan] president.'"

Exactly. For as Hong went on to point out:

"In Taiwan, 'one China' is regarded as referring to the People's Republic of China, as is the case at the United Nations. This is against Taiwan's interest and unacceptable for many Taiwan residents."

So rather than being an example of a "softening" in China's stance regarding Taiwan, as some analysts suggested, Hu's offer last month was just the same old proposals, cloaked in the same old tired cliches.

Unfortunately, I can't agree with Hong's remark about the next president refusing to go along with Beijing's interpretation of things. I feel very pessimistic about the future of Taiwan as an independent political entity should Ma Ying-jeou (Ma Ying-chiu/Ma Ying-jiou/Ba Eikyū) 馬英九 and the Kuomintang (Guomindang) 中国国民党 take over the reigns of power in next year's elections. I wouldn't shed any tears over the demise of the Republic of China 中華民国, but it would be very sad indeed if the R.O.C. were to be replaced by a Taiwan Special Administrative Region.

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