I always felt this schizophrenia was the most dangerous disease for Taiwan.You and I can plainly see the shift in power and the signals that are coming out of the U.S. government. It does not mean that this is clear to the people in Taiwan. The Taiwanese politics is a bit schizophrenic. On one hand, everyone in Taiwan knows that a day will come when the PLA will go across the Taiwan Strait and there is not a thing the U.S. will do to protect them if this day comes. On the other hand, the voice for independence is getting stronger every day to the point where even KMT must silence their pro-unification voices if they wanted to get elected. This could only mean that the hands of the U.S. and the current party has successfully pushed for this narrative even if reality says something different. With the types of brain washing that had been done over the decades, I just don't see Taiwan electing a pro unification government, even assuming impossibly that the U.S. would allow such a platform be on the ballot box.
I think the current consensus is to live for today and extend the status quo. That goes for the current Taiwanese government as well as the people of Taiwan. The people of Taiwan had understood, long ago, that a day would come for re-unification. I think they fear such a day will come soon going forward, but nobody wanted to upset the applecart and everyone will carry on business as usual as long as they could.
As you said, everyone wants independence, yet no one expects to fight for it.
CSB did try to push for independence behind the scenes, but was basically told to sit down by George W Bush administration. They were busy with their Middle East agenda.
The problem with Taiwan is that they are too scared to let go of "Daddy America's" hand. If a Taiwanese government was daring enough to guarantee "No Alliance with America" as a precondition to settling the cross-strait issue, what would PRC do? Maybe the US won't let them behind the scenes? I always thought Ma Ying Jeou had a very bold idea with his Free Trade plan. I do feel very strongly that the "Sunflower movement" that torpedoed it was unleashed by the US. Any formalization of a framework between 2 sides is one step closer to resolving differences.
The US greatest nightmare: If a consensus was reached where there would still be a ROC military, but a small PLA base would be stationed on the island (like Guantanamo), anda joint "United China" operations division staffed with personnel from both sides was established. Almost everything else remains the same politically (with the exception of a PRC veto over ROC foreign affairs), everyone pats themselves on the back and says good job and goes home. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and other US MIC companies are left trying to explain to their shareholders why revenues decreased by 2 billion YoY.