Fri, Mar 13, 2015 - Page 8 News List

Doubts grow over ‘1992 consensus’

By Fan Shih-ping 范世平

China even began to regard those who do not support the “1992 consensus” as proponents of Taiwanese independence and warned Tsai that there is no room for ambiguity regarding the consensus, pressing her to take a clear stance.

Since Ma’s re-election in 2012, Beijing has gradually moved from the “1992 consensus” toward the “one China” framework, emphasizing that both Taiwan and China are parts of one country.

Basically, the term “country” is a more inflexible and political term, whereas the “1992 consensus,” which was championed in the past and posited that both sides of the Strait are part of one and the same country, is more ambiguous in that the “one China” it referred to could be more loosely interpreted as a cultural, historical and racial China.

However, after last year’s Sunflower movement protests, cross-strait relations swiftly worsened, prompting China to bring up the “1992 consensus” again in its conference on the affairs of Taiwan.

Recently, China conceded on the matter of its proposed M503 flight route. However, while Beijing seems to have relaxed its stance over that issue, it is starting to play tough over the “1992 consensus.”

With most Taiwanese holding the opinion that Taiwan and China are two separate countries, and the new political stars are echoing the public’s views, it would seem that further cross-strait debate over the “1992 consensus” is likely to cause more conflict — which is worrisome.

Fan Shih-ping is a professor at National Taiwan Normal University’s Graduate Institute of Political Science.

Translated by Ethan Zhan

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