Interesting plan, but this is based on the idea that most Taiwanese would ever want to politically unite with Mainland China. From what I am reading and from the Taiwanese I know, many, likely a majority of Taiwanese, never wish to reunite with Mainland China. The reasoning behind the reunification does not matter.

As I have said, as time passes and the older generation of KMT elite (who remember living in China) passes, it will only become more entrenched. It is likely, if they are going to start negotiating peaceful reunification, every day that passes is just another day it will be more difficult to sway the Taiwanese public, so any initiative should be now. I actually think if the Taiwanese president approached China with such a plan they would seriously consider it, although I’m not sure Hu has enough clout in the party to overcome hardliners, who would not back it. I am also quite certain America would support this as well and help Taiwan in negotiations with China.

In the end, no candidate seems warm to the idea, which tells me, they know they can not sell it to the general public.

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Robert Tsao wants cross-strait ‘peaceful co-existence’ law

Robert Tsao, one of Taiwan’s powerful business leaders, called on the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and opposition Kuomintang to drop their support of referendums on Taiwan’s admission to the United Nations yesterday. In a half-page advertisement run in three mass-circulation dailies, the chairman emeritus of United Microelectronics Corporation said he expects the presidential candidates of the two parties to give up their U.N. bids, saying they are an exercise in futility.

The DPP wants accession to the United Nations under the name “Taiwan.” The Kuomintang is striving for a return to the United Nations as the “Republic of China,” and was ousted from the world body in 1971.

Kuomintang standard bearer Ma Ying-jeou and his DPP rival Frank Hsieh should jointly propose a peaceful co-existence law for cross-Taiwan Strait relations instead, Tsao urged.

The UMC is the world’s second-largest contract chipmaker. Tsao retired as its chairman after being indicted in January last year for making an end run to acquire He-jian Technology in China. He was acquitted on Oct. 26.

Taiwan imposes strict restrictions on investments in China by its entrepreneurs.

“If Taiwan adopts a cross-strait peaceful co-existence law, relations between the two sides of the Strait can begin to develop in the right direction,” said Tsao, who calls himself a “small ordinary citizen” in the front-page advertisement.

The new law alone will provide opportunities for both sides of the Taian Strait to trust and help each other, Tsao said. It will end the dispute over “one China” versus “one country on each side of the Strait,” he added.

There will be no more disputes over what is known as the “1992 Consensus” or the National Unification Guidelines, Tsao went on. “I believe,” he pointed out, “all the unnecessary disputes will end and the problem confronting the two sides of the Strait will be truly solved.”

How to go about it? he asks. First and foremost, the DPP has to give up any plan to conduct a referendum on independence for Taiwan, Tsao said.

“Then it should be declared that the Republic of China does not rule out the possibility of unification with the mainland (of China) with the proviso that a unification referendum has to be passed,” he stressed.

China should request that Taiwan hold the unification referendum.

Before the unification referendum is voted on, Tsao proposed, China has to clearly specify all conditions under which unification would take place, the purpose being to let the people of Taiwan know exactly how autonomous they will be, and make the right decision.

Should the referendum be adopted, unification could be achieved, he wrote. If not, China should modify the conditions for autonomy and then make a new request for a second unification referendum.

“There should be no limitation on how many times the referendum is called,” Tsao recommended, adding the two referendums should be at least 10 years apart.

Tsao asked for support and opened a Blog site, http://blog.yam.com/straitpeace, which was flooded with over 1,000 messages, 85 percent of which favored his peaceful co-existence law proposal.

Eight out of every ten blog mailers offered Tsao encouragement. One blogger urged him to continue speaking on behalf of a third political force in Taiwan, and calling for cross-strait peace.

There should be a third force, said Vincent Huang, a mid-sized business owner who posted his opinion on Tsao’s blog. It may offer a better alternative than the Kuomintang’s unification line and the DPP’s tacit de jure Taiwan independence.

Top business leaders reacted favorably to the Tsao initiative. Pan Chun-yung, chairman of the Taiwan Association of Construction Contractors, said there should be negotiation between the two sides of the Strait to achieve peace.

“We should seriously study how a unification referendum should be held,” said Lin Po-feng, president of the Taiwan Glass Company and convener of the board of trustees of the National Federation of Industry.

But political leaders were not responsive.

President Chen Shui-bian refused comment. Asked how he thought of the Tsao initiative, Chen just smiled and said “Thank you.”

Ma Ying-jeou said he appreciated Tsao’s proposal. “But,” he said, the Kuomintang has already set up a platform for dialogue.

“If I were elected,” Ma said, “I would have a peace agreement signed on one condition that China removes all the missiles targeting Taiwan. I’ll follow up with negotiations to usher in peace across the Strait.”

Frank Hsieh said he might act on the Tsao initiative, but ruled out the possibility of jointly proposing a peaceful co-existence law with his Kuomintang adversary.

In particular, Hsieh refused to drop the U.N. bid, which he said was endorsed by three million voters across the country.

In all likelihood, neither the ruling party nor the opposition will call off the referendums, and there will be no co-sponsoring legislation on peaceful co-existence between Taiwan and China. 

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