Africa & Beyond

China/Taiwan Cross Strait Diplomacy in the Year of the Dragon

Chinese history is a catalogue of human sufferings and also the triumph of the human soul. After the overthrow of dynastic, imperialist and colonial powers that exercised an oppressive sway over the Chinese for centuries, the MAO TSE DONG movement defeated the forces of the Kuo- Ming Tang and set up a Communist state in 1949.

From 1911-2011, the Chinese Communist Party entrenched a populist system of government geared towards social justice and egalitarianism. It adopted its own version of socialist democracy, with the Communist Party playing a major role in its nation-building process.

China re-possessed Shandong from the Germans, who occupied Qingdao in 1897 The British took Hong Kong, after the notorious Nanking treaty of 1842, which virtually turned China into a colonial enclave.

The Kuo Ming Tang, under Generalissimo Chang Kai-shek, re-located to Taiwan. The United States of America, since 1911, has assisted Taiwan to develop a strong capitalist economy and prosperous way of life.

The People’s Republic of China, in keeping with its one China policy, regards Taiwan as part of its territory, which they hope to regain in future. if necessary by force. This has remained a deterent to Taiwan past governments threat to declare independence from China.

The one China policy has been respected by many states because of the restraint with which China has conducted its international legal relations with Taiwan. China has respected the territorial integrity and political status of Taiwan in keeping with the UN Convention on Diplomatic and Consular relations of 1961 and 1963 respectively.

When I visited the Temple of Heaven and the Place of Worship to heaven and other parts of the Forbidden City, now accessible to everyone, I came out with the impression that harmony rather than the use of force is a Chinese characteristic.

In the recent elections in Taiwan, the DPP leader, in candid style, acknowledge defeat. Twenty-three million Taiwanese decided to re-elect Mao (not Tse Dong), with 52% of the votes. He scored 17% four years ago.

The significance of Mao’s victory is that it seems to banish the clamour for a declaration of Taiwan independence, which was propagated by the disgraced Chen Cheri Bien and which the DPP leader canvassed recently but failed.

President Mao, who is favoured by Beijing, has walked a tight -rope, making sure that he maintains a balance between home politics and cross straits diplomacy.

Although there has not been a Peace Treaty since 1949, between China and Taiwan, a new political agenda is possible, which will smoothen over contentious issues.

The 1992 Consensus agreement can be expanded to improve cross strait relations. In 2007, the Chinese government allowed Taiwanese professionals, who sought to practice in Mainland China, to do so. So far, that policy has worked.

With the colossal economic achievements of China and its global influence, Taiwanese do not see why they should provoke their kith and kin in a futile independence misadventure.

The US seems to have realized the deepening of relations between China and Taiwan. So, the US does not see the value of playing the role of a meddlesome interloper. She kept a low profile during the elections.

Come to think of it, in spite of occasional bickering and geo-political shadow-boxing, US/China relations are better than ever before and it will be unwise to listen to Donald Trump’s trumped up charges against China.

Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s visit to Saudi Arabia was successful. At a time when China needs oil to fuel its economic growth, mundane considerations were brushed aside.

The Taiwanese President cannot embark on hurried reforms. Is economic integration on the cards? Maybe, but this must be pursued silently and without proclamation.

As Hu Junta and Wen Jibao bow out gracefully in March 2012, they shall be applauded for the meritorious services they have rendered to their country, moving it from socialist ideological permutations to socialist reality. They impacted on the world inexorably.

The peaceful transition in China will prove that a nation does not have to engage in rancorous electioneering, with monetary considerations playing a major role in who gets elected. In such a system, the best leaders cannot emerge.

As we have witnessed in the American political campaign, name-calling, vicious epithets are hauled at each other, lowering the prestige of the office of the President of the United States.

Now that “Meat” Romney’s human and political personalities have been laid bare to ridicule, what respect would he command among fair-minded world and American citizens? So, OBAMA WINS!
In our Mayday world, everything is turning around. The Spirit is moving as the prophet s said it would . God is in firm control of the universe and its other space.

This year is a very auspicious year in the Chinese calendar; the YEAR OF THE DRAGON. The golden dragon may turn out to be the platinum dragon, in due course.

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