Continued from page 1

But the “popular support” condition is the most crucial one of the three because it would invalidate China’s primary approach of using behind-the-scenes secret negotiations on sovereignty issues by political elites without resorting to democratic referendum.

An overwhelming majority of Taiwan voters oppose “unification” with China as well as outright independence, although Taipei enjoys de facto independent status.

“There is not a timetable in sight for top officials to conduct talks across the Strait,” Mr. Wu said emphatically.

Miles Yu’s columns appear Thursdays. He can be reached at