Beijing has been ramping up its calls for president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to recognize the so-called “1992 consensus,” with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) politicians playing second fiddle by saying that there would be serious consequences for cross-strait relations if it is not upheld.
However, the remarks of Chinese officials show that Beijing is anxious, and Taipei ought not to bow to pressure.
Beijing has also always said that there would be repercussions — including the suspension of exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait — if Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration refuses to recognize the “1992 consensus.”
The consensus refers to an agreement said to have been reached during a meeting between Taiwan and China in 1992 that both sides recognize that Taiwan and China belong to “one China,” but each side has its own interpretation of what “China” is.
However, since Tsai’s election in January, Beijing has been eager for Tsai to recognize the “1992 consensus,” with a variety of officials and academics urging her to do so.
The DPP’s response to Beijing’s repeated calls and threats has always been that Tsai would strive to maintain the cross-strait “status quo” of peace and stability, while adding that Tsai would acknowledge that representatives from both sides attended a meeting in 1992.
China’s calls might be a sign that Tsai’s calm reaction is making Beijing anxious, as it is about to face a government with a different approach to the cross-strait relationship from that of the China-leaning KMT government it has been dealing with for the past eight years.
Beijing is anxious because it knows that Tsai will not be as “obedient” as President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九); it is anxious because the DPP’s landslide victory in the presidential and legislative elections show that the direction of the Taiwan policies it has been employing during Ma’s tenure has failed to turn more Taiwanese toward the “motherland”; it is anxious because “progress” in cross-strait relations might help the Chinese Communist Party regime strengthen its authority in a fast-changing China and it is anxious because it is important for China to get Taiwan on side because of the nation’s strategic position as Beijing seeks to gain influence in the international community — especially as it faces challenges from the US and its allies in the Asia-Pacific region.
China has played down Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi’s (王毅) remark during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington that Taiwan’s new leader should abide by the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution, which considers both Taiwan and the mainland part of “one China.” However, the remark showed that China would be willing to make some compromises if Taiwan recognizes “one China” in some way, even if Tsai is unwilling to recognize the “1992 consensus.”
Beijing’s anxiety and its increased pressure on Tsai do not mean she should submit to its wishes, and worries that cross-strait exchanges might be suspended if Tsai does not recognize the “1992 consensus” are unnecessary.
It could be said that Beijing is increasing its pressure on Tsai before she takes office because it does not plan to sever cross-strait exchanges even if she refuses to recognize the “1992 consensus.”
After all, even during former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) administration — which was considered very unfriendly and even hostile toward China — cross-strait exchanges did not cease, and it should not be forgotten that major progress in cross-strait relations, such as direct cross-strait flights, was achieved during that period.
With its passing of Hong Kong’s new National Security Law, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) continues to tighten its noose on Hong Kong. Gone is the broken 1997 promise that Hong Kong would have free, democratic elections by 2017. Gone also is any semblance that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) plays the long game. All the CCP had to do was hold the fort until 2047, when the “one country, two systems” framework would end and Hong Kong would rejoin the “motherland.” It would be a “demonstration-free” event. Instead, with the seemingly benevolent velvet glove off, the CCP has revealed its true iron
At the end of last month, Paraguayan Ambassador to Taiwan Marcial Bobadilla Guillen told a group of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators that his president had decided to maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan, despite pressure from the Chinese government and local businesses who would like to see a switch to Beijing. This followed the Paraguayan Senate earlier this year voting against a proposal to establish ties with China in exchange for medical supplies. This constituted a double rebuke of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) diplomatic agenda in a six-month span from Taiwan’s only diplomatic ally in South America. Last year, Tuvalu rejected an
US President Donald Trump’s administration on Friday last week announced it would impose sanctions on the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, a vast paramilitary organization that is directly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and has been linked to human rights violations against Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. The sanctions follow US travel bans against other Xinjiang officials and the passage of the US Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which authorizes targeted sanctions against mainland Chinese and Hong Kong officials, in response to Beijing’s imposition of national security legislation on the territory. The sanctions against the corps would be implemented
US President Donald Trump on Thursday issued executive orders barring Americans from conducting business with WeChat owner Tencent Holdings and ByteDance, the Beijing-based owner of popular video-sharing app TikTok. The orders are to take effect 45 days after they were signed, which is Sept. 20. The orders accuse WeChat of helping the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) review and remove content that it considers to be politically sensitive, and of using fabricated news to benefit itself. The White House has accused TikTok of collecting users’ information, location data and browsing histories, which could be used by the Chinese government, and pose