Thu, Apr 30, 2015 - Page 8 News List

EDITORIAL: Consensus: The enemy within

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

That saying from a notorious propaganda chief seems to be what President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) government is aiming for with its so-called “1992 consensus” — which has become a ubiquitous term among Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Chinese officials alike.

Never mind the fact that former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 openly admitted fabricating the term in 2000 before the KMT handed power over to the Democratic Progressive Party, nor the fact that China has made it clear that the “1992 consensus” is just another way of describing its “one country, two systems” policy — which does not at all recognize that each side of the Taiwan Strait has its own interpretation of what “one China” means. The Ma administration has nonetheless stuck to this lie, as it continues to deceive the Taiwanese public and toe Beijing’s line.

Following Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) warning earlier last month that there would be “earthshaking” consequences to cross-strait relations if the political basis of the “1992 consensus” is challenged, Ma yesterday reiterated the importance of the so-called consensus as a “foundation for peaceful cross-strait development” by further threatening his own people that cross-strait relations would descend into “chaos” if people go against it.

It is one thing for China to sell its interpretation of the “1992 consensus” to members of the international community, as it has made no secret of its ambition to annex Taiwan. However, it is another thing when a head of state like Ma, who was elected by his own people, resorts to such tactics and allows Beijing to take advantage of the people with nary a protest.

“I deeply believe that peace and prosperity are the future of the two sides [of the Taiwan Strait] ... and what most Taiwanese expect,” Ma said in a speech during a visit to the Mainland Affairs Council, which council officials said was timed to commemorate the first high-level cross-strait meeting 22 years ago in Singapore.

Indeed, no one objects to having peaceful cross-strait relations, but peace must not be built on Taiwan’s voluntary denigration of its own status and forsaking its dignity as a sovereign state.

If Ma genuinely cares for peaceful cross-strait development, the dignity of the Republic of China which he represents, as well as the well-being of Taiwanese, rather than hanging on to the spurious “1992 consensus” and pushing the nation toward Beijing’s “one China” framework, he should speak out against China’s “Anti-Secession Law” and urge Beijing to revoke it.

While the law, enacted in 2005, claims to promote peaceful unification, it provides a legal basis, from the Chinese perspective, to rein in Taiwanese independence and facilitate the nation’s annexation through the use of military force. It clearly stipulates that Beijing — in the event that “Taiwanese independence” forces act under any name or by any means to cause Taiwan’s secession from China — shall employ non-peaceful means and other necessary measures “to protect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The motive and content of the law show nothing but malice and threats to peace on Beijing’s part.

It is downright pathetic that the Ma government believes in a consensus that does not really exist, all the while lacking the guts to stand up to Chinese aggression and bullying.

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