President Tsai Ing-wen (???) broached a new discourse on cross-Taiwan Strait relations before the first anniversary of her inauguration on May 20.
During a recent interview with the United Daily News, she spoke of her "three new's" theory, meaning "new situation, new test and new model" for cross-strait relations.
She described a series of questions put forward by Beijing for her to complete last year as "lacking goodwill" and urged it instead to face the new situation with goodwill.
Tsai advocated that the two sides need a "structural cooperative relationship" to maintain a stable and peaceful status.
She put this theory forward in an interview with, in which she said rather than saying that she has not completed a test paper, it is better to say that "we both face a new test paper."
In other words, she has disregarded the questions Beijing put forward and made up her own questions, and has asked Chinese President Xi Jinping (???) to answer the "new test paper" together.
The public in Taiwan expects Tsai to extend an olive branch or propose something to help solve the cross-strait stalemate, but such an expectation could fall through if seen by these two interviews.
Tsai has not only not intended to change the current course, but has adopted an even tougher stance.
Despite the slipping approval rating of her performance, she is not preparing to adjust her cross-strait relation policy, but is asking the other side to make adjustments.
Tsai's core theory is that Taiwan is already a democratic country and that she has no final say on "one China."
Xi must shed his old mindset and show flexibility on the "one China" principle, according to Tsai.
She reaffirmed her theory that "this is a different world." As such, the Chinese leadership must act differently.
The "different world" in Tsai's mind probably is the populism that has spread around the world, which in the case of Taiwan is evident in the rising support for Taiwan independence. Under such a trend, Xi must make concessions, according to Tsai.
But in the eyes of Beijing, the surge of the populism reflects the decline of democracy, and the elite leaders in the East are more capable of solving problems.
With such an ideological divergence, Tsai obviously cannot convince Xi.
Tsai cannot break the stalemate of cross-strait ties, but has made the situation even more complex.
On Taiwan's bid to attend the annual World Health Assembly later this month, Tsai's said that Beijing "has to deal with the matter cautiously, as this will damage bilateral relations."
We think Beijing should not return to the old path of blocking Taiwan, less it hurt the feelings of the Taiwanese people.
But Tsai should also ask herself about the administration's move to remove the vestiges of China, such as former President Chiang Kai-shek and the founding father of the Republic of China Sun Yat-sen, and even to the point of removing Confucius' and Koxinga's influences over the past year, which hurts the feelings of people on both sides.
Indeed, the world is facing a "different world." Not only should Beijing get to know the "different world" again, Tsai also should take the high ground to reassess where is she going to lead the country.
Tsai's theory might have a new lexicon, but in reality, it does not solve the basic question of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. (Editorial abstract -- May 6, 2017)
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel