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A mirror reflecting South-North
  • Seo Su-jin, reporter
  • 승인 2015.11.23 21:27
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On November 7th, the presidents of China and Taiwan, Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou came together for talks in Singapore. The meeting was the first between the leaders since China and Taiwan split amid the still unresolved civil war in 1949. The two said, “We are fraters having the same flesh,” and reconfirmed that they are ‘One China’. At the same time, they discussed setting up a hotline between their Cabinet-level agencies entrusted with overseeing relations, as well as a long-mooted proposal to set up representative offices on each other’s territory.

One China means that Chinese regions, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and all the minority groups in Chinese grounds cannot be divided and they are the one. While China regards minority groups, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan as the objects of political unity, Taiwan considers them respective nations. Since Taiwan withdrew from the UN in 1971, some thought of China and Taiwan as one nation. However, they got into a huddle to use different name, ‘The People’s Republic of China’ and ‘The Republic of China’ based on their interpretation.

In China’s 1945, a civil war between the Nationalist party and the Communist party broke out. The Communist party which won from the war founded ‘The People’s Republic of China’ and the Nationalist party moved to Taiwan islands and founded ‘The Republic of China’. Since then, China has thoroughly kept up a blockade policy towards Taiwan and they have made a strong demand to the nations who want to establish diplomatic relations with China to break off with Taiwan. China has never been reluctant to Taiwan’s status. In fact, China has another intention. Because China is being challenged by the U.S. due to the South China Sea, China must not disregard the surrounding countries in the southeast. Especially, Taiwan is a typical ally of America and actually rules over Taiping Island which can prove sovereign in the South China Sea. Therefore, China is keen to have an amiable relationship with Taiwan.

Nevertheless, one more remarkable item was Xi’s agreement to hold the meeting on neutral territory and without flags or other trappings of Chinese nationalism. The two even dropped their official titles to refer to each as “Mr. Xi” and “Mr. Ma”. It was a clear contrast with Korea's South-North talk.

This historic meeting dramatically shows that economical and personal exchange can lead to political and military exchange. China and Taiwan have aimed for the development of their relationship for 24 years since they agreed on the ‘One China’ policy. On the contrary, South and North Korea held a summit earlier but because of political and military problems, it is hard to better the relationship. The Ministry of Unification announced that South Korea has suggested talks 3 times since September but North Korea hasn’t been answering.

China already holds 40% of Taiwan’s export volume. There are around 8 thousand Taiwanese companies in China. 40% of tourists who visited Taiwan last year were Chinese. However, South-North Korea only has Gae-seong Industrial Complex. It is not even clear when the meeting would be held. South and North Korea aren’t discussing reunification. S Korea pushes ahead with reunification discussion unilaterally and N Korea makes a diversion and says it is the South’s trial for absorbing reunification.

The relationship between China and Taiwan is a mirror reflecting South-North Korea. Their development in relationship will contribute to the peace in East Asia. South-North Korea’s cooperation is very important for peace and stability in not only East Asia but also the world. Now is the time for South-North to put efforts for cooperation.

Seo Su-jin, reporter  -

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