Commentator Ting-i Tsai has another good piece in the Asia Times on the Hu “peace offer”

Hu’s olive branch, therefore, is consistent with Hu’s previous practices, in the minds of some observers. At a summit with Taiwan’s opposition Kuomintang on April 29, 2005, an agreement to sign a peace accord was among some of the points of consensus.

To some observers, Hu’s remark might seem fresh and friendly, but others disagreed. “Hu’s speech looks more like setting a framework. For the upcoming five years, a precondition [one China] would be required for political negotiation,” said a former senior official at the Mainland Affairs Council, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, “Party-to-party negotiation would be the format. This is a regression [of China's friendliness].”

Former communist Ruan endorsed the former official’s argument, and contended that “technically, the hostility is only between the CCP and KMT”, suggesting Hu’s proposal was for the KMT but would not be applicable to the governing Democratic Progressive Party.

Tsai also presented some local views of the issue, emphasizing its totally ho-hum nature to the locals. Massive, massive kudos for Tsai mentioning that the CCP and KMT are interwined like snakes mating in the spring. Why that pertinent fact fails to find mention in the international media is a mystery to me.

Even worse for Beijing, Ma Ying-jeou, the presidential candidate of Taiwan’s opposition party Kuomintang (KMT), which has interacted closely with the CCP since 2005, rebuked Hu’s remark by arguing that Taiwan’s future should be determined by the island’s people, and the decision is neither associated with CCP nor could the island tolerate any CCP interference.

The worst news for Hu was probably the reactions of people in Taiwan. Beijing has tried to win the hearts and minds of the island’s residents, but few in Taiwan paid attention to China’s political drama, and even fewer were aware of Hu’s apparent olive branch to Taiwan.

In downtown Taipei, Amy Kuo, a 36-year-old office clerk, noted that she had not heard the term “17th National Congress” of the CCP.

Yeh Hung-yuan, a 34-year-old sales manager of a medical machinery company, had some understanding of the meaning of “17th CCP Congress” but was not aware of Hu’s remarks. “It would be either threatening Taiwan independence or talking about an unrealistic ‘peaceful unification’,” he guessed.

Jesse Chuang, a 27-year-old doctorial program student, said he had no impression of Hu’s remark. “I only remember that Jiang Zemin didn’t clap his hands [after Hu's speech],” Chuang said.

I got curious about whether Tsai was right on the extent of the ignorance, so I started asking my night class students about Hu’s offer (it would have been pointless to ask the day class of 18-22 yr old kids). Out of fifty or so adults in their twenties and early thirties, most — hell, all but one — had no clue that there was a Party Congress or that weighty words on the subject of Taiwan had been uttered by His Huness. It seems sometimes that “Taiwan consciousness” is not consciousness of Taiwan, but unconsciousness toward everything else….