林飛帆投書外媒 稱柯文哲「兩岸一家親」恐動搖台灣抗中侵略決心(+投書原文) ◎中央社 2018-09-22

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2018-09-22

(中央社台北22日綜合外電報導)「外交家」雜誌網站20日刊登太陽花學運領袖林飛帆的投書專文,他提到台北市長柯文哲認可「兩岸一家親」,可能為台灣反制中國侵略的決心帶來不確定性。林飛帆在「外交家」雜誌(The Diplomat)專文的標題為「台灣會再度讓自身掉入『一個中國』陷阱嗎?」(Will Taiwan Trap Itself Into`One China'Again?)內文寫道,由於年底縣市長選舉逼近,台灣致力抵抗中國侵略擴張主義的努力正受到挑戰,這項挑戰不僅來自中國,同時也來自國內。

鑒於許多民主國家針對中國做出戰略調整,以及台灣民調始終顯示很少人想要「統一」,總統蔡英文領導的民進黨政府不太可能在可預見未來接受北京當局的「一個中國」政策。



儘管如此,今年11月的縣市長選舉,對於台灣未來的立場仍構成潛藏威脅。

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更具體來說,尋求連任並享有高支持度的首都台北市長柯文哲,他提倡「兩岸一家親」可能會為台灣反制中國侵略的決心帶來不確定性。

國民黨2008年重返執政後,當時的總統馬英九政府在所謂的「九二共識」基礎下,簽署所有協議及合作計畫。

林飛帆指出,馬英九的做法促使台灣經濟和政治不對稱依賴中國,使中國能全面影響台灣,並讓少數兩岸企業受益,同時犧牲大多數國內勞工,在追求通過這些協議時,造成台灣憲政民主惡化。

這條政治路線2014年引起台灣公民社會大反撲,最終造成國民黨在2014年地方選舉及2016年大選吞下歷史性敗仗。

民進黨2016年再度執政以來,總統蔡英文拒絕接受「九二共識」,受到各界關注。許多媒體報導中國加強打壓台灣的舉動,其中包括挖角台灣的邦交國、逼迫外國企業移除對台灣的稱呼、限制台灣參加眾多國際組織,並升高對台灣的軍事威脅。

林飛帆認為,在這個時代背景下,柯文哲2014年以無黨籍候選人身分當選台北市長,上任不久卻認可中國與台灣是「一家人」、「命運共同體」的概念,把他成功打破國民黨壟斷台北市局面的壯舉,轉變成中國滲透台灣的潛在缺口,這是再諷刺不過的事。

柯文哲接受這項政治術語滿足了北京當局的要求,也就是各個層面的兩岸對話必須在「一個中國」框架下進行。這項舉動讓柯文哲得以出席2015年以來的台北上海雙城論壇,並確保他能會晤中國高階官員。

雖然有些人可能認為柯文哲的主張類似馬英九政府,並不是對於「一個中國」的直接讓步,但這種說法是對於北京「一個中國」整體概念的誤解。

林飛帆另表示,由於地方選舉是現任中央政府的期中考,加上首都市長在兩岸關係角色的重要性,還有柯文哲的高人氣使他經常被吹捧為可能的總統候選人,所以中國試圖影響這次選舉應受到各界關注。(譯者:陳彥鈞/核稿:徐崇哲)1070922

Will Taiwan Trap Itself Into ‘One China’ Again?

Taiwan’s commitment to resist China’s encroaching expansionism is under challenge — not only from China, but from within, thanks to its upcoming local elections. It is unlikely that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration, led by President Tsai Ing-wen, will accept Beijing’s “One China” policy in the foreseeable future, given the strategic adjustments of many democracies toward China and polls in Taiwan consistently showing that there is little desire for “unification.” Still, the local elections in Taiwan this November pose an insidious threat to its future stance. More specifically, the current mayor of Taiwan’s capital of Taipei, Ko Wen-je, a popular political figure campaigning for re-election and an advocate for China’s core Taiwan policy doctrine that “two sides of the Taiwan Strait are one family,” may inject uncertainty into Taiwan’s resolve to counter Chinese aggression.

Much attention has been paid to Tsai’s refusal of the “1992 Consensus,” a disguised “One China” policy embraced by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Kuomintang (KMT), currently the main opposition party. There are likewise a wealth of reports about China’s intensifying campaign against Taiwan since the DPP resumed office in 2016, including poaching Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, coercing foreign companies to erase references to Taiwan, restricting Taiwan’s participation in multiple international organizations, and escalating military threats toward Taiwan. Yet relatively little has been said about Beijing’s exploitation of — as well as its impact on — those who desire to accommodate its assertiveness through adopting surrogate doctrines and cultivating new proxies in Taiwan.

History of China’s Containment of Taiwan From Within

Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.China has continually sought to penetrate Taiwan’s political system and marginalize administrations which refuse to recognize Beijing’s “One China” policy by aligning with pro-Beijing politicians and political forces. In 2005, during the first DPP administration, Lien Chan, the former vice president and former president of the KMT, visited then-Chinese president Hu Jintao in China, forming a party-to party platform for negotiations that excluded the then-DPP government. Lien and Hu concluded their meeting with a historical agreement — the “Five-Point Vision for Cross-Strait Peace” — aimed at pursuing a peace agreement as an political end of the cross-strait issue under the “One China” framework. After the KMT returned to power in 2008, Ma Ying-jeou’s administration extensively implemented those visions, signing all agreements and cooperation schemes under the so-called “1992 Consensus.”



Ma’s approach pushed Taiwan into an asymmetric reliance on China both economically and politically, offering China overarching leverage over Taiwan, benefiting a few cross-strait businesses while sacrificing the majority of domestic labor, and causing Taiwan’s constitutional democracy to deteriorate in pursuit of the passage of those accords. While obtaining certain space on the international stage, Taiwan’s presence was perceived as an “authorized autonomy” granted by China, rather than evidence of its independence. This path triggered a great backlash from civil society in 2014 and eventually led to the KMT’s historic defeat in both local elections in 2014 and general elections in 2016.

From “the 1992 Consensus” to “Both Sides of the Strait Are One Family”

Against this backdrop, Ko Wen-je won a landslide victory as an independent in the 2014 Taipei mayoral race. It could not, therefore, be more ironic that he would then endorse the concept of China and Taiwan being “one family” and “sharing a common destiny” soon after taking office, turning his success as a once-breakthrough politician against the KMT’s dominance of Taipei into a potential opening for Beijing’s infiltration.

Ko’s recognition of this terminology satisfies Beijing’s demand that cross-strait dialogues at all levels must take place under the “One China” framework. It has paved Ko’s way to attend the Taipei-Shanghai Forum since 2015 and ensures his ability to meet with high-ranking Chinese officials. While some might argue Ko’s overtures are not a direct concession to “One China” similar to that of the Ma administration, such claims are based on a misunderstanding of Beijing’s overarching notion of “One China.”

Emphasizing the “kinship” between Taiwan and China has always been an essential appeal of China’s strategy to contain Taiwan. The origin of this concept can be traced back to 1979 with the “Open Letter to Taiwan Compatriots” in which China addressed the “kinship” of people living on both sides. Former Chinese presidents Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao had extensively used this phrase. Xi Jinping himself, likewise, deployed the phrase both as vice president and later president of China when meeting with Taiwanese delegates and leaders between 2010 and 2018. In 2017, the 19th National Congress of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) officially enshrined this concept, making it a parallel doctrine to the “1992 Consensus” in its outline of future Taiwan policy.

It is clear that “two sides of the Strait are one family” is a pivotal pillar of both Xi’s and China’s Taiwan policy. If the so-called “1992 Consensus” embodies Beijing’s sovereign claim over Taiwan, then the “one family” doctrine fulfills China’s nationalistic claim in suggesting there is only one nation on either side of the Taiwan Strait. In this era of frozen relations between Tsai and Beijing, China’s welcome of Ko’s overture indicates that the concept of “two sides of the Strait” being “one family” has been given a more critical status than it was thought to possess, arguably as the latest formula for Beijing’s co-opting of Taiwan’s rising political forces.

Given that local elections in Taiwan serve as midterm exams for the incumbent central government, the importance of the role of the capital mayor in cross-strait relations, as well as Ko’s high popularity — which has led to him being frequently touted as a potential presidential candidate — Beijing’s attempt to leverage this election should be concerned.

For instance, Chinese state-run media CCTV recently featured positive coverage of Ko — a tactic similar to its previous propaganda for the KMT — which arguably implies Beijing’s public endorsement of him. Indeed, Ko may be China’s rare chance to establish a political beachhead in Taiwan by way of a new political proxy, as the KMT is highly unlikely to win back power in the short-term. Ko is a strong potential challenger for Taiwan’s presidency in the coming decade, and his rise may well result from his populist leadership style and nonpartisan nature, which allows him to tap into growing dissatisfaction with both major parties — the DPP and the KMT,

It is unlikely that the majority of voters will accept Ko’s stance on China, but there is a clear tendency to downplay Ko’s cross-strait stance among his supporters due to his popularity. Even members from the pro-independence camp, such as New Power Party legislator Freddy Lim, misinterpret the weight of Ko’s “one family” phrasing in cross-strait relations.

Ko has had chances to readjust his stance on China, but has chosen to defend his acceptance of the “one family” concept as a pragmatic approach that helps Taiwan buy time. Despite such rhetoric mirroring the KMT’s in the past, Ko’s accommodation of Beijing has not assuaged its assertiveness toward Taiwan in any way. Rather, it has given Beijing more leverage to infiltrate Taiwan’s domestic political debates and signaled a reincarnation of the KMT’s past approach. In addition, the side effect of such overtures may further confuse the international community’s perception of Taiwan, in which misinterpretations perceiving Taiwan-China struggles as an “intra-family dispute” are common.

Bulwark of Democracy vs. Orbit of Authoritarianism

To date, Xi’s “Two Centenary Goals” for the “Chinese Great Rejuvenation” have explicitly exposed China’s intention to challenge the geopolitical order, with taking Taiwan as an integral part of that grand scheme. Cross-strait relations, therefore, must be understood in the context of international geopolitics and the global order rather than merely a cross-strait affair.

As a vibrant democracy standing at the forefront of this encroaching revisionism, Taiwan’s determination to counter such expansion matters. Since many countries are now adjusting their strategies toward China’s assertiveness, including a growing concern over China’s interference in other nations’ democratic institutions, Taiwan should continue to make overtures to potential democratic allies around the world to counter China’s attempts at aggression, instead of placing itself again into an authoritarian superpower’s orbit. Accommodating China might be perceived as a way to bolster short-term security, but the price for Taiwan’s democracy and long-term capability to defend itself from authoritarian aggression will be overwhelming.

As a rising political force, Ko’s tendency to embrace “One China” has introduced a complicating factor into Taiwan’s future trajectory. Yet Taiwanese people might still be able to push back against such inclinations through a comprehensive examination of their political leaders’ stances. Neglecting the fact that “two sides of the Strait are one family” serves as a core concept of Beijing which traps Taiwan in an endless cycle of independence-unification debates will not help us to transcend domestic divergence.

Importantly, after experiencing Ma’s eight years of pro-China policy, Tsai’s turn from China, and the possibility of Ko’s rise, whether Taiwan’s commitment to counter China’s expansionism should continue to be bound by the personal will of political leaders in the future is indeed questionable. Further institutionalizing and consolidating Taiwan’s de facto independence are considerably more essential than restricting itself under the ambiguous discourse of “maintaining the status quo.” As China’s mounting assertiveness poses the unprecedented challenge to the democratic world, it would be in the international community’s best interests to support a free and independent future for Taiwan.

Lin Fei-fan was a student leader of the 2014 Sunflower Movement in Taiwan, graduated with an MA in Political Science from National Taiwan University in 2017, and is currently undertaking an MSc in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics.



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