2016年1月25日 星期一

《經濟學人》寄望蔡英文 :The Economist:Taiwan’s remarkable election 台灣今日理當是完全主權國家,不過蔡英文必須忍耐

Taiwan’s remarkable election
Dear prudence

By rights, Taiwan should be a fully sovereign country today; Tsai Ing-wen must accept that it cannot yet be oneJan 23rd 2016 | From the print edition

IT HAD been widely predicted, yet the landslide victory for Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan’s presidential race on January 16th, along with the emphatic performance of her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the legislative election, is nevertheless remarkable (see article). The vibrancy of the campaigning; the engagement of young voters; a smooth expected transfer of power; Asia’s first female leader not to come from a political dynasty: there is much to celebrate. A dictatorship has budded amazingly into a mature democracy, a country with stable institutions and impressive prosperity, ranking 33rd in the world by income per person, richer than Portugal or Greece.

Rightly, neighbours have been quick to congratulate Ms Tsai. All, that is, except powerful China, which deems Taiwan to be a renegade province that must return to the motherland, and if necessary be forced to. For all that Taiwanese resent being dictated to, and Ms Tsai’s own party leans towards formal independence, the new president must accept that history constrains Taiwanese aspirations, and her options. Not to do so would jeopardise Taiwan’s future—and the region’s peace.

The Taiwanese, for the most part, voted for Ms Tsai not on the “one-China question” but to improve living standards at home, as voters in mature democracies tend to. A donnish expert on trade law, Ms Tsai picked up a party in tatters in 2008 after its first, disastrous, presidency. Since then the DPP, founded by human-rights activists persecuted during the thuggish days of the Nationalist or Kuomintang (KMT) dictatorship, has shown growing competence in local government. Competence, not political ideology, is how it smashed the KMT’s unbroken lock on the legislature. The KMT’s once-mighty machine, built on cash and cronyism, has hit the buffers; it faces a Herculean task to reinvent itself along more modern lines.

Daily chart: All change in Taiwanese politics

China’s Communist Party, much happier to deal with its old KMT foe than with the DPP, is displeased. But at least it is not fulminating (see Banyan). Ms Tsai should swiftly demonstrate to President Xi Jinping that her priority is not to seek to upset the balance across the strait but to take on domestic concerns: build more affordable housing, fix the crisis in the pensions system and raise the minimum wage. She should do more to liberalise the economy and remove obstacles to the creation of new businesses.

Yet she cannot ignore relations with the mainland altogether. Indeed they may yet come to define her presidency. Not least, China is Taiwan’s biggest trading partner. Ms Tsai has promised transparency in trade and investment deals with China. The KMT’s secrecy sparked protests two years ago that greatly undermined Ma Ying-jeou, the outgoing president. His successor must find ways to explain to autocrats, who themselves rule opaquely, why more scrutiny of agreements will lead to their greater acceptance in Taiwan. And when it comes to her promise to seek membership of the American-led free-trade area, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, she should urge China to join the club in tandem, as the two countries did when they entered the World Trade Organisation in 2002.

Swallow your pride, Ms Tsai

Sooner or later China will press Ms Tsai to affirm the formula that has guided cross-strait relations: that there is but “one China”, even if both sides disagree as to quite what that means. This will be hard for her, given that such a fudge does not reflect the changing view of compatriots increasingly inclined to think of themselves as Taiwanese, not Chinese. Yet she must continue the reconciliation across the strait that began under Mr Ma. Even before her inauguration in May, she should offer to meet Mr Xi for a meeting of no preconditions. Throughout, her watchword should be patience. Real, de jure sovereignty for Taiwan can probably come only if a thuggish China, today persecuting rights activists, evolves into a more liberal state. Impossible? Taiwan has done it.

From the print edition: Leaders

2016年1月16日,中華民國舉行第14屆的總統選舉,由民進黨提名的蔡英文與陳建仁以689萬餘票當選,完成了中華民國來台後第三次的政黨輪替。英國《經濟學人》為此以《Dear Prudence,本為英國樂團披頭四1968年的作品,歌詞鼓勵在印度修行的Prudence Farrow,別忘了探頭看看窗外的藍天》為題撰文,除對這次選舉語多稱讚外,也盼蔡英文在就任後,正視限縮台灣國際空間的兩岸框架歷史,避免危及台灣未來,甚至是區域和平。








蔡英文曾經承諾,會和中國簽訂公開透明的貿易和投資協議。兩年前,國民黨的黑箱作業引爆三一八學運,更影響了馬英九的統治。蔡英文必須讓馬英九看到,對於條約更審慎的監督,會贏得人民更廣大的支持。此外,就像2002年加入世界貿易組織(World Trade Organization, WTO)的做法一樣,蔡英文也必須努力爭取和中國先後加入跨太平洋戰略經濟夥伴關係協議(Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement, TPP)