Cross-Strait Watch No. 1

Cross-Strait Watch No. 1
Photo Credit: 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen

What you need to know

Welcome to the first issue of our weekly overview of key events in cross-strait relations.

Speaking at a conference for Taiwan studies researchers on June 14, Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) vice chairman Sun Yafu (孫亞夫) told the audience that while the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration will have substantial influence on cross-strait relations, China remains in control of the direction of developments between Beijing and Taipei.

Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) spokesman An Fengshan (安峰山) told reporters on June 15 that any attempts by Taiwan to remove references to China from the Republic of China (ROC) constitution will only harm Taiwan. An said that any activities by "independence movements" will constitute public provocation and destabilize cross-strait relations. An added that the new DPP-led government is still "incoherent in its position" on cross-strait relations and must adopt a “One China” stance instead of independence or one country on each side. (See The News Lens International's editorial on An's presser.)

The Chinese Council for the Promotion for Peaceful National Reunification (CCPPNR) has been reactivated, and has convened meetings with overseas Chinese leaders to condemn the Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) administration, Focus Taiwan reported on June 13. The CCPPNR describes its objectives as improving relationship between "the mainland, the Taiwan region, China’s special administrative regions, and overseas Chinese in an effort to promote Chinese unification." In response, Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC) chief Wu Hsin-hsing (吳新興) says he has taken note of the development and was drawing up plans to counter the CCPPNR's efforts. Wu visited the Los Angeles branch of OCAC on June 16 and held a banquet attended by more than 550 Chinese Americans. He told the event that the Tsai administration was still intent on maintaining Taiwan’s connections with overseas Chinese, adding that in his view the OCAC would never disband, CNA reported. He said he trusted all overseas Chinese to make the "correct choice" when choosing between the Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China.

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) addressed the SOPA awards ceremony through a pre-recorded speech on June 15 after being blocked from traveling to Hong Kong (transcript available here). In the speech, Ma said the "1992 consensus" was the basis for cross-strait talks. Read The News Lens' take on the speech.

American Institute in Taiwan director Kin Moy on June 15 weighed in on cross-straits relations, urging both sides of the Taiwan Strait to use “creativity, flexibility and patience” when working on cross-strait issues to create “confidence and predictability” in the relationship.