Recent developments in cross-strait relations raise interesting questions for Tibet’s leadership in exile.
The historic meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou is relevant to the Tibet issue in many ways. In 1979, when the post-Mao Chinese leadership decided to “solve old problems,” Tibet and Taiwan were both on the list. After having reached out to the Dalai Lama through his brother in 1978, Beijing turned its attention to Taiwan. “A Message to Compatriots in Taiwan” was issued by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) on January 1, 1979 that sought to end the military confrontation across the straits and resolve the crisis through dialogue. This marked a shift in Beijing’s Taiwan policy from “military liberation of Taiwan” to “peaceful reunification of the motherland.”
Later, in September 1981, Beijing issued a “Nine Point Proposal” to Taiwan. It was enunciated by Ye Jianying, the then NPC Standing Committee chairman, which promised the island a “high degree of autonomy as a special administrative region,” retention of its armed forces, socio-economic system, way of life, and cultural and economic relations with foreign countries, and non-interference in its local affairs. Later, Deng suggested that this proposal could also be considered as “one country, two systems.” This was the first (p.23) time that such a concept was put forward. It was later formalized during the second session of the sixth NPC in 1984.[Source]