A ticking time bomb in cross-Straits ties

Updated: 2016-05-16 07:54

By Li Zhenguang(China Daily)

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A ticking time bomb in cross-Straits ties

Taiwan's main opposition Democratic Progressive Party, DPP, Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen speaks during a press conference in Taipei, Taiwan, on April 15, 2015. [Photo/IC]

On Friday, Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party, will deliver her inauguration speech as the island's new leader.

Despite having claimed more than once that she wants to "preserve the status quo" in cross-Straits relations, she is yet to convince people that her party, which has long refused to acknowledge the 1992 Consensus that Taiwan and the mainland are both parts of one China, will give up pursuing the island's full "independence".

The DPP's latest attempts to break the cultural bond shared by the mainland and Taiwan and seek "cultural independence" are a case in point.

The island's "formal independence" is undoubtedly pie in the sky in the face of the mainland's unequivocal opposition, but the DPP's "cultural independence" campaign, if not seriously dealt with, may add more uncertainties to cross-Straits ties in the years to come.

Playing the "cultural independence" card has helped the DPP win several key elections in recent years, including this year's leadership election, and Tsai's party is expected to make it a political priority after it officially assumes power.

In effect, the tactic employed by Lee Teng-hui, the initiator of Taiwan's "de-Sinicization campaign," and his successor as the island's leader Chen Shui-bian has resulted in many young people having a misperception of history and a lack of national identity.

This already poses a grave challenge to the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, as well as the future reunification of the mainland and Taiwan.

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