China Leadership Monitor

Cross-Strait Relations: In Search of Peace

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The election campaigns in Taiwan continue to move along with all of the surprise twists and turns one might have predicted. The UN referendum issue continued to be a focus of much of the campaigning, given particular prominence by official American statements highlighting U.S. opposition to the DPP proposal to enter the UN “in the name of ‘Taiwan’” and by reactions to those statements from Chen Shui-bian and the candidates. In terms of cross-Strait relations, however, the recent development of greatest interest was General Secretary Hu Jintao’s moderate handling of Taiwan in his political report to the 17th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, and particularly his mention of a possible cross-Strait “peace agreement.” This went a considerable step beyond Jiang Zemin’s “eight-point proposal” for an agreement on “cessation of hostilities,” and it seemed to accord with KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou’s proposed “interim peace accord.”