|TAO Deputy Director Sun Yafu speaks at a forum in Taipei|
As the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) China Affairs Committee takes shape, now is a good time to start thinking about how to best engage China.
Two principles stand above all others in how Taiwanese should interact with their giant neighbor: First, engagement is unavoidable, though the scope, breadth and nature of such interactions should continue to be determined by the Taiwanese side; and second, such engagement should be conducted under the premise that the entire enterprise is part of a large united front campaign orchestrated by Beijing.
Consequently, the Taiwanese side must never lose sight of the dangers that stem from interacting with China, and should therefore arm themselves with sufficient intelligence about their interlocutors before making contact with them. They should also be ready to launch their own counter-propaganda campaign to defuse the primary message that Beijing wants to drill into people’s minds, and that is the “historical inevitability” of “reunification.” The worst that the DPP, or any other Taiwanese organization, for that matter, can do is walk in unprepared and assume that the Chinese side is well-intentioned. It is not.
My unsigned editorial, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.