Wed, Aug 12, 2015 - Page 8 News List

The Liberty Times Editorial: China’s ‘1992 consensus’ strategy

In an interview with Chinese media, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) was reminded about China’s insistence on the so-called “1992 consensus” being the political foundation for peaceful cross-strait development.

He was asked to shed some light on the matter, to which he said: “China proposed that the ‘1992 consensus’ is the foundation for peaceful cross-strait development, which I understand and respect. However, I would also like to point out that there is a proactive and positive meaning to my own 2015 new viewpoint.”

Has our political neophyte also stumbled into the trap of the “1992 consensus,” or does he think that he can outsmart the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)?

The “1992 consensus” is not a free lunch, nor is it any of those meaningless political discourses, such as “one China, different interpretations” or “one China, same interpretation.” It is an undisguised weapon from a real enemy.

Ko said he wanted to show his understanding and respect for China’s stance, but what is China’s “stance,” exactly? Is it not that there is only “one China,” that Taiwan is a part of it and that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is the only legitimate government representing it? Does such ambition to annex Taiwan still require people’s understanding and respect? If someone announces that he is going to rape you, do you respond by saying you understand and respect their point of view? This cannot possibly be what Ko had in mind.

China’s negotiation strategy, regardless of who they are dealing with, is to stick to their principles unwaveringly, while enticing others to waver and sacrifice their principles, effectively causing them to lean toward Beijing’s principles. The way it is dealing with Ko is a good example: As far as the CCP is concerned, there is no room for compromise, let alone Ko’s “2015 new viewpoint.”

A trip to the Taipei-Shanghai City Forum will be unfeasible unless China sees more goodwill from Ko. If Ko believes that it is politically correct to attend the forum, the communists will see to it that Ko makes the compromises they want. If Ko does not think it is a big deal to throw around words like “understanding” and “respect,” he will be like a frog in boiling water.

Before Ko came along, the CCP already had the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in its trap. The “one China, different interpretations” view, an ingredient of the so-called “1992 consensus,” was never acknowledged by the CCP, but the KMT has been happily doing the salesman’s job of propagating it.

As for the CCP, it was busy propagating internationally that Taiwan accepted the “1992 consensus” as the CCP defined it. Consequently, the international community at large and Taiwan’s allies in particular, have been gradually misled to believe that Taiwanese admit that Taiwan is a part of China. The most dangerous ramification of such an international attitude is that if one day China attacks Taiwan with brute force, the invasion might be regarded as a domestic Chinese affair.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who advocates maintaining the “status quo,” has not given an unequivocal response to the unquenchable CCP’s “1992 consensus.” If “understanding” and “respect” suffice, perhaps the DPP should simply emulate Ko’s method in the future.

When China and the US established diplomatic relations, the US said it “acknowledged” China’s stance, but they were two nations recognizing each other as a sovereign country; recognition of each others’ stance did not harm their own. However, China neither acknowledges Taiwan nor the Republic of China as a sovereign nation.

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