The thaw in cross-Strait relations during Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou’s first term was unprecedented – but the honeymoon period may soon be over.
The rapid expansion of ties between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Chinese Communist Party (CCP) governments were established through seven rounds of bilateral talks, 16 agreements, and one “consensus” on cross-Strait investments. Concomitantly, people-to-people exchanges have increased exponentially as the two sides negotiate terms of engagement. But while the KMT and CCP agree upon the need to institutionalize cross-Strait ties on the basis of the so-called “1992 Consensus,” other sensitive political issues were shelved in the interim. Now, despite the bilateral public displays of camaraderie by political leaders, who tout the positive-positive gains of engagement, the deeply rooted political distrust that Presidents Ma and Hu Jintao brushed aside during the past four years is quickly coming to the fore.
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