Wed, Jan 05, 2011 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

‘1992 consensus’ irrelevant

There is much debate about the so-called “1992 consensus.” This “consensus” has nothing to do with Taiwan. It is only relevant to China and the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) quest to unite with China.

The fictional “1992 consensus” concerns the existence of “one China” and the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) may or may not have come to some understanding, each without respect or reference to the people either of Taiwan or China, but this “understanding” does not bind anyone except the two political parties.

Whether or not these two entities believe there is “one China” does not require the 23 million Taiwanese to agree that Taiwan is somehow China. Even the KMT has repeated over and over (whether its leadership believes it or not) that the future of Taiwan will be left to its people, not the KMT or China, to decide.

Nor does the so-called “1992 consensus” involve the issue of whether Taiwan is part of China. The reason for this is the KMT’s convenient usage of the term Republic of China (ROC). That term has nothing to do with Taiwan’s sovereignty. It was coined long before the KMT came to Taiwan, when the latter was still a colony of Japan.

The KMT’s obsession with the consensus is proof that it does not consider Taiwan’s interests as important compared with China’s. The consensus does not involve Taiwan’s sovereignty at all and the two interpretations mentioned in the consensus only concern who rules China. The fact that it is ignored by the CCP and the KMT is because there exists an obvious and very real third “interpretation”: that Taiwan belongs to Taiwan.

It is not surprising that the KMT and the CCP ignore this, because to confront it would reveal an inconvenient truth — that both the KMT and CCP lay claim to the same land, which is now the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Taiwan’s sovereignty issue is merely a tool the two sides use to distract everyone in China and Taiwan while they talk about how to divvy up the spoils.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) considers himself the president of China, with Taiwan being a tiny part of what he considers his domain. He may play here and there in Taiwan, but he does not consider himself the president of the Taiwanese people. He is just temporarily in Taiwan until his party can make arrangements for its triumphant return to the “Mainland.”

And what happens to Taiwan then? Casinos, betel nut beauties, red-light districts, tourism and not much else. It will be a new Macau.

The “1992 consensus” cannot involve the sovereignty of Taiwan, because it does not allow for the possibility that Taiwan is independent, admittedly an issue yet to be resolved. Therefore, for the “1992 consensus” to govern relations across the Taiwan Strait necessarily involves the surrender by the KMT of Taiwan’s sovereignty (never mind the ROC, which does not exist except in the minds of the KMT) because under either interpretation, Taiwan cannot be sovereign.

For the KMT to argue that this so-called consensus is therefore somehow the only possible result is disingenuous because it contradicts the KMT’s own proclamation that the people of Taiwan must be allowed to determine their own future and because it means the overwhelming majority of Taiwanese cannot achieve what poll after poll shows they believe — that is that they are citizens of an already free and independent Taiwan.

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