Great progress has been made in the talks on mutual establishment of representative offices across the Taiwan Strait. Now both sides have begun to make preparations.
We can foresee that in the future, the mainland’s agency stationed in Taiwan will bring its great economic power into play by performing its service functions and launching peaceful offensives.
With super public-relations skill, it will become the media’s favourite, drawing great attention in Taiwan.
In the future, it will issue not only visible travel visas to Taiwan compatriots but also “political visas” and “economic visas” to political and economic figures.
Each has its own desire in the talks on the mutual establishment of representative offices. Using relations between man and woman as a metaphor, Taipei wants to establish its status first while Beijing is anxious for consummation of marriage.According to current progress, Taiwan will finish the legislative work by the end of this year and be able to set up its representative office on the mainland and even put it into operation next year.
Knowing well that it is a trend impossible to stop, the Democratic Progressive Party can only declare the persistence in maintaining two functions with diplomatic significance: “the right to issue visas” and “the consular privilege of visits.” The two rights are not difficult to exercise, judging by past experience of the interactions between the two sides across the strait.
Similar to the situation at present, what Taiwan issues is called “visa” while what the mainland issues is called “endorsement,” or the right to issue visa without a diplomatic name.The privilege of visit has always been exercised by Mainland’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait and Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation, and will continue to be maintained, only there is no title of consul.
The personnel of the Association and Foundation may help each other in arranging the exercise of the privilege of visit. In fact, there are merely small differences from the provisions of the Vienna Convention.
The agencies are mainly to provide services, but the mainland’s agency in Taiwan will play even more significant political functions.There are great differences between the societies across the strait. Unless something unexpected takes place, the mainland representative will be a master of public relations capable of dealing with all people and resourceful to achieve successes.
He will actively take part in various social activities in Taiwan, give frequent interviews to media, comment and criticise various political and economical phenomena in Taiwan and exploit every opportunity to promote “one China” and overall national interest.
Issuance of “political and economical visas” by mainland agency in Taiwan will be focus of attention
Contacts between the mainland’s agency in Taiwan with the elite in various circles in Taiwan will be the media’s focus of attention. Taiwan political figures will prove their capability of dealing with cross-strait affairs and connections with people by interactions with Mainland’s agency by obtaining Beijing’s “political visa.” Entrepreneurs will show off their friendly relations with the Mainland by such interactions.
That “economic visa” will facilitate building up business trustworthiness. There is no need to say that people in other cultural and social circles will be busy travelling across the strait. Beijing has gained lots of experience since long ago in the course of the recovery of its sovereignty over Hong Kong.
The warfare without gunpowder between the two sides of the strait moved from Singapore to Hong Kong, and then from Hong Kong to Taiwan. Each side’s intention and strategy in establishing its representative office across the strait differs entirely from the other.
Beijing’s representative will conduct peaceful offensives, while Taipei only intends to perform the functions to deal with affairs. The differences are so great that what each agency may achieve in the future is indeed not difficult to foretell.Source: Ming Pao “Representative Offices across Taiwan Strait: One Offensive, the other Defensive” (translated from Chinese by Chan Kai Yee)
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