Tags: Taiwan | China | Kuomintang | DPP | 1992 Consensus

As China Sends Warning On Taiwan's Vote, Obama Backs 'Dialogue'

By Thursday, 04 December 2014 08:45 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Two days after Taiwan’s resounding vote for opposition candidates to the ruling pro-Beijing Kuomintang (KMT) Party and resulting warnings from the Communist Chinese regime not to see this as a mandate for Taiwanese independence, the Obama administration moved quickly to address a potentially explosive situation by saying it continues to encourage "constructive dialogue" between Taipei and Beijing.

"I can tell you that the President has been briefed on the outcome of the elections," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told Newsmax on Tuesday, referring to the municipal elections in Taiwan Sunday in which the opposition Democratic People’s Progressive Party (DPP) demolished the ruling KMT by winning 13 of the 22 cities and counties.

With more than two-thirds of eligible voters showing up at the polls, the number of cities and counties under KMT rule dropped from 15 to 6, and three were won by independents.

Although voters’ disenchantment with the economic agenda of Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou was undoubtedly the chief reason for the routing of the KMT, veteran China hands agree that its policy of closer links to and liberalized trade with Beijing also hurt the party that has ruled Taiwan for all but eight years in its 66-year history.

"A proposed trade pact with the mainland sparked mass student-led protests and a three-week occupation of Taiwan’s parliament earlier this year," said Bonnie Glaser, senior adviser for Asia Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and Jacqueline Vitello, in a post-election analysis for the Washington-based "Nelson Report."

The KMT and China have been growing closer since the "1992 Consensus," crafted in large part by then-Chinese leader Hu Jintao.

Under this "consensus," both Beijing and Taipei agree there is "one China" but each has its own definition: Ma and the KMT defines "one China" as the Republic of China on Taiwan and rejects unification and independence; Chinese President Xi Jinping defines it as the Mainland with the eventual goal of reunifying it with Taiwan under a variation of the "one country, two systems" formula it now applies to Hong Kong.

Following the Taiwanese election, an article in the official Chinese Communist Party newspaper "The People’s Daily" warned the DPP to "discard fantasies" about achieving independence.

"Mainland China fears the return of the DPP to the presidency [of Taiwan, where the next election is in 2016]," according to Glaser and Vitello. "When Chen Shui-bian, the first and only DPP president was in power from 2000-08, he pursued provocative, pro-independence policies that agitated Beijing and increased tensions."

More recently, DPP Chairman Tsai Ing-wen, narrow loser to Ma in the 2012 elections and the likely DPP candidate for president in 2016, has been a vigorous opponent of the "1992 Consensus" and supporter of a national referendum in which the Taiwanese vote on their country’s future — including the prospect of becoming an independent country.

When Tsai ran in 2012, the Obama administration left no doubt it did not want her in charge in Taiwan. The "Financial Times" quoted a "senior Administration official" saying there were "doubts about whether she is willing and able to continue stability in cross-strait relations."

In hailing the election as one that "demonstrates the strength and vitality of Taiwan’s democratic system," a National Security Council spokesman told Newsmax that the "United States' one China policy, based on three U.S.-China joint communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act, has been consistent for the past nine U.S. administrations and will not change."

The spokesman also said that the Obama administration will "continue to encourage authorities in Beijing and Taipei to continue their constructive dialogue, which has led to significant improvements in the cross-Strait relationship. The scope, manner, and pace of interaction between Beijing and Taipei should be acceptable to people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait."

Reacting to the statement from the White House, Bruce Herschensohn, senior fellow at School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University and author of "Taiwan: The Threatened Democracy," told Newsmax ,"the election in Taiwan shows that the great majority of voters there disapprove of their President Ma Ying-jeou’s embrace of the People’s Republic of China.

"It is odd that the current president of the U.S. and the current president of Taiwan embrace their nation’s enemies rather than their nation’s friends."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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Two days after Taiwan's resounding vote for opposition candidates to the ruling pro-Beijing Kuomintang Party and resulting warnings from the Communist Chinese regime,the Obama administration continued to encourage "constructive dialogue" between Taipei and Beijing
Taiwan, China, Kuomintang, DPP, 1992 Consensus
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2014-45-04
Thursday, 04 December 2014 08:45 AM
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