‘1992 consensus’ fallacy
In 1992, then-Straits Exchange Foundation chairman Koo Chen-fu (辜振甫) and Wang Daohan (汪道涵), the then-chairman of China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, held negotiations in Hong Kong and later in Singapore and Shanghai. They met to exchange ideas about the cross-strait relationship, but they did not reach any consensus in written records. Instead, the two sides had different interpretations of the “status quo.” Beijing’s main objective was to persuade Koo to accept its “one China” principle.
In 2000, then-Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) fabricated the so-called “1992 consensus” term. He said an agreement had been reached in 1992 in which the two sides agreed that there is only “one China” with each side having its own interpretation.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) insist that “one China” refers to the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan. They have desperately used this false “consensus” as a political tool to deceive Taiwanese. In 2006, Su admitted that he had made up the term.
Former presidents Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) have repeatedly denied the existence of a “1992 consensus.” Even the late Koo denied that such a consensus was ever reached.
When the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was established in 1949, Beijing declared that the ROC had ceased to exist and claimed that Taiwan was a part of China. Therefore, the PRC would not let Taiwan make its own interpretation of what “one China” is. In his “six-point statement,” Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) in 2008 rejected the possibility of letting Taiwan have its own interpretation of “one China.” The PRC does not seem to object to the KMT’s insistence of the existence of the “consensus” because they trust Ma’s goal is “ultimate unification with China.”
The KMT cannot produce any written documents to prove the existence of the consensus. Ever since Ma assumed the presidency in 2008, he has skillfully collaborated with the PRC to promote his goal of unification with China. Ma’s pursuit of eventual unification permeates all his major policies. Ma’s “three-noes” policy, “diplomatic truce” and emasculation of military strength are all designed to please Beijing. Ma has sacrificed Taiwan’s sovereignty and reduced it to a local region of China. Ma seems content to be the leader of “Chinese Taipei.” The World Health Assembly listed Taiwan as a province of China. The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) will gradually bind Taiwan to a Chinese common market.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) strongly denies the existence of the so-called consensus and has proposed to replace it with a “Taiwan consensus,” which would include the broadest possible ideas from the Taiwanese public. Ma continuously attacks Tsai and warns voters that if she wins, the cross-strait relationship will revert to the stalemate of the Chen era.
Taiwan has signed 16 agreements with the PRC since 2008. Those agreements were not signed by the two countries, but rather the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party. Ma has never dared to visit China as the president of the ROC and his officials have not dared to mention “President Ma” to Chinese officials. Ma has beguiled the people and vehemently denies that he is trying to sell Taiwan out to China and sacrifice Taiwan’s sovereignty. Tsai must win the presidential election on Saturday and preserve Taiwan’s sovereignty.