Peace pact targets unresolved war
By Joe hungOne thing has to be made perfectly clear: A peace accord President Ma Ying-jeou wants to negotiate with the People's Republic of China has nothing to do with Chinese unification. The pact is one to end formally the long Chinese civil war, which started or resumed right after World War II.
October 24, 2011, 9:27 pm TWN
Chiang Kai-shek began to attack Mao Zedong's stronghold in Jiangxi long before the Japanese kicked off their undeclared war on China on July 7, 1937. Mao's defeated ragtag army took off for its Long March, and finally reached Yenan near Xian, where Chiang was kidnapped by rebels and had to agree to suspend the civil war in 1936. Chiang's Kuomintang decided to work together with Mao's Chinese Communist Party after what is known as the Xian Incident to resist Japanese aggression. Chiang was released on Christmas Day in that year and the Marco Polo Bridge Incident occurred the next year to lead the Japanese Empire to go to war with the United States in 1941. As soon as the Pacific War, a part of World War II, had ended, the war between Chiang and Mao began with a vengeance.
Mao won the war resumed, and proclaimed his People's Republic (PRC) in Beijing on Oct. 1, 1949. Chiang's Kuomintang government and his defeated army had to come to Taiwan at the end of the year. During the civil war, Chiang had to step down as president of the Republic of China (R.O.C.) in favor of Vice President Li Tsung-jen, who tried to negotiate a peace with Mao. In March of 1950 Chiang resumed office as president, and his government continued to “suppress” the Chinese Communist rebellion to keep on the civil war. Inasmuch as Taipei is concerned, that civil war came to an end with President Lee Teng-hui terminating the Period of National Mobilization of Suppression of Communist Rebellion, which Chiang proclaimed in Nanjing in 1948 to wage against Mao. By ending Chiang's 1948 decree, Lee put an end to the “Suppression of Communist Rebellion,” or Chiang's civil war, without concluding a peace agreement with the PRC. On the other hand, Beijing has never accepted Taipei's claim that the Chinese civil war is over.
That was why in 2005 Lien Chan, then chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT), met in Beijing with Hu Jintao, president of the People's Republic and general-secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, to end the feud between the two parties and express their desire to sign a peace agreement to end the perpetual enmity between Taiwan and China that then Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) President Chen Shui-bian had incited through his policy of creeping independence for Taiwan. In the run-up to the presidential election of 2008, Ma Ying-jeou the candidate said he wanted a peace accord signed between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. After assumption of office, President Ma put on hold any political negotiations, but as the presidential race of 2012 is heating up, he declared last Monday he hopes the peace accord would be signed in the next 10 years and followed it up on Thursday by offering a referendum to decide whether negotiations would be started on that pact. He said the peace agreement would be negotiated if the referendum is passed. If not, there would be no negotiations.
Ma's offer and the condition he has set are more than fair enough. Just as a declared war has to be ended by a peace agreement so does the long Chinese civil war. The Soviet Union declared war on Japan only a week before Tokyo accepted the Potsdam Declaration to unconditionally surrender to the Allies, but no peace agreement has been signed between the two countries to formally end their war and they are technically still at war against each other, with the four Kuril islands of Shikotan, Etorofu, Kunashiri and Habomai still kept under Russian occupation.