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APEC期间的张王会

卜睿哲 美国布鲁金斯学会东亚政策研究中心主任  2015年01月08日

【摘要】APEC会议期间大陆国台办主任张志军和台湾陆委会主委王郁琦的会面很有意义。台湾领导人马英九非常希望能够在APEC会议期间和习近平会面,但是没有实现。两岸关系现在正处于僵局之中。大陆和台湾内部也都出现了对未来两岸关系的担忧。“张王会”上九二共识重新成为讨论的焦点,这让台湾问题的观察家松了一口气。“九二共识”也应当继续成为两岸关系发展的基础。


媒体的注意力都集中在中国国家主席习近平和美国总统奥巴马、日本首相安倍晋三在APEC会议期间的会面。很少有人关注到了大陆和台湾负责两岸关系负责人的又一次会面:大陆国台办主任张志军和台湾陆委会主委王郁琦。

此次会面的背景是非常重要的。首先,台湾领导人马英九非常希望能够在APEC会议期间和习近平会面,但是没有实现。北京方面不希望在APEC会议期间会面,因为这样的一个国际场合可能同台湾的国际身份联系起来。尽管中国希望在其它场合实现习马会,仍然有许多问题需要解决。在这样的情况下,大陆国台办主任张志军和台湾陆委会主委王郁琦是所能够会面的最高级别官员。

第二,两岸关系现在正处于僵局之中。自马英九在2008年上任以来,北京和台湾方面在经济关系的正常化、机制化和自由化方面做了大量的努力。两岸经济合作框架协议(ECFA)在2010年6月谈判完成,已经实现了一些早收清单,并且将在未来继续就一些具体的议题谈判达成协议。然而今年春天,两岸服贸协定在民进党和太阳花学生运动的共同作用下被搁置,这些协定仍然没有得到批准。这一僵局并不意味着台湾社会反对两岸继续深化经贸关系,但这确实标志着任何新的两岸经贸协议的批准都将面临更大的困难。

第三,大陆和台湾内部都出现了对未来两岸关系的担忧。北京方面希望能够有更大的进展,包括政治议题。大陆方面有越来越强烈的情绪,认为台湾方面非常善于抓住两岸关系中的有利方面,但是并不愿意处理大陆方面非常希望处理的问题。这一耐心的失去体现了一种基本的事实:对台湾而言,和大陆的关系不仅仅是交易,而是包括了关于台湾认同和对未来认知的长期担忧。更加具体的,习近平今年9月的一些表态令台湾岛内民众的情绪再次紧张。他们认为习近平在向台湾施加更大的压力,迫使台湾实现和大陆的统一,同时也没有提及“九二共识”。“九二共识”这一松散的相互理解一直是马英九执政时期两岸互动和一切协议的基础(马英九方面的理解是九二共识所指一个中国对台湾而言是中华民国,而北京方面则不接受这一解读,不过到目前为止仍然持宽容态度)。

在张王会上“九二共识”重新成为了讨论的焦点(未来也应当如此)。这对台湾问题的观察家而言,这安抚了他们的情绪。“九二共识”对双方而言都是很好的能够安抚对方意图的基础,至少在近期而言是如此。双方基于此扩大合作仍然是对彼此都有利的。正是在马英九2008年上台承认“九二共识”后,台湾海基会和大陆海协会会议机制经过10年的停滞之后重新协商。海协会和海基会是各自政府指定的代表各自进行谈判的非政府机构。此外,“九二共识”也让海协会和海基会以及工作层级的官员能够进行日常的接触。

事实上,中国大陆对台湾的政策缺乏延续性。统一仍然是最终的目标,一国两制仍然是统一的唯一方式。北京方面并没有意识到不论是目标还是方式在台湾都没有获得多少政治支持,这其中有许多原因导致。尽管双方对于九二共识有各自的解读,但这已经足够为双方实现到目前为止的进展保驾护航。双方需要达成怎样的协议最终开始进行政治谈话目前仍不清楚。清楚的是两岸关系未来取得的进展将继续取决于北京方面究竟能够在未来在多大程度上将台湾的民意考虑在内。


 

 

Taiwan-China: On the Wang Yu-chi-Zhang Zhijun Meeting


Richard C. Bush III


There was a lot of media attention given to the meetings that China’s President Xi Jinping had with President Obama and Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzo on the edges of the APEC summit. Much less notice was given to the encounter that occurred between China’s and Taiwan’s policy officials responsible for their government’s relations with each other: Zhang Zhijun, director of the PRC’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) and Wang Yu-chi, chairman of the ROC’s Mainland Affairs Office (MAC).

 

The context for these meetings was important. First of all, Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou had been very eager to meet Xi Jinping at the time of APEC, but to no avail. Beijing was unwilling to agree to an APEC-related meeting, because of the international character of the venue and what that might say about the island’s international identity. While China is willing to consider a Xi-Ma meeting under other circumstances, a number of issues must be resolved before that happens (on those impediments, see my recent blog post. Consequently MAC Chairman Wang and TAO Director Zhang are the highest sitting government officials to meet each other publicly (and they only did so for the first time in February).

 

Second, relations across the Taiwan Strait are stuck. Since President Ma took office in 2008, Beijing and Taipei had made significant progress in normalizing, institutionalizing, and liberalizing their economic relationship. The keystone of that effort is the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) concluded in June 2010, which achieved some “early-harvest” liberalization and promised future market-opening agreements on specific topics. This spring, however, the draft agreement on trade in services met a buzz-saw of opposition in Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, led by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party and the student-led Sunflower activist movement. Approval of the agreement is thus on hold, and it is unclear when or whether it will ever be approved. The stalemate does not mean necessarily that the public as a whole has turned against deeper economic interdependence with the Mainland, but it does signify increasing difficulties in getting ratified new understanding that touch on domestic business interests.

 

Third, there is anxiety in both China and Taiwan about the future of their relationship. Beijing had hoped for more progress by now, including on political matters, and there is some feeling on the Mainland that the Taiwan side is very good at capturing the benefits of cross-Strait relations but unwilling to address the issues most on China’s agenda. That impatience betrays a misperception: for Taiwan, ties with China are not simply transactional; they entail more fundamental concerns about the island’s current identity and long-term future. Specifically, President Xi rattled public opinion on the island in late September when he appeared to lay new stress on Taiwan’s ultimate unification with the Mainland and avoiding a mention of the “1992 consensus,” a loose understanding that has been the basis for the interaction and agreements between the two sides during Ma Ying-jeou’s presidency. (Ma’s understanding of the 1992 Consensus is that there is one China and for Taiwan it is the Republic of China. Beijing does not accept that interpretation but it has been willing to tolerate it so far.)

 

So it was no doubt reassuring to at least some observers on Taiwan that the 1992 consensus was a focus of discussion in the Wang-Zhang meeting. And it should remain so. The formula has provided the basis for each side to reassure the other about its intentions, at least for the near term, and to expand the areas of cooperation where mutual benefit arguably exists. It was after Ma Ying-jeou formally accepted the 1992 Consensus in 2008 that Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), which the respective governments designated to be their interface, resumed meetings after a decade of not meeting. Moreover, the 1992 Consensus has enabled SEF and ARATS to negotiate agreements on behalf of the Beijing and Taipei governments and working-level officials to interact on a regular basis.

 

There is actually no inconsistency in China’s position concerning Taiwan. Unification remains its ultimate goal, and one-country, two systems remains its only formula for unification. Beijing is not unaware that both the goal and the formula have little political support in Taiwan, for a variety of reasons. Although each side has its own understanding of what the 1992 Consensus means, it has been useful enough to secure what progress has occurred so far, in the areas of economics and culture. What basis the two sides might adopt should they ever move on to political and security issues is very unclear at this point. What is clear is that cross-Strait progress has been and will be a function of how much Beijing takes Taiwan public opinion into account as it formulates its policies going forward.


 
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