Fri, Nov 02, 2007 - Page 1 News List

KMT bickers over new statement

IN OR OUT? A proposed move to drop the so-called '1992 consesus' and unification guilelines from the KMT's cross-strait policy had party officials talking at cross purposes

By Mo Yan-chih and Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou holds hands with his mother, Chin Hou-hsiu, during a visit to his father's grave yesterday to mark the second anniversary of his father's death, together with his sisters Ma Yi-nan, left, and Ma Nai-xi.

PHOTO: WANG MIN-WEI, TAIPEI TIMES

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday dismissed concerns that the party has abandoned the Guidelines for National Unification and the so-called "1992 consensus" by dropping them from its mission statement. He vowed to stick to the policies if elected next March.

"The `1992 consensus' has always been my and the party's policy. The KMT's position on cross-strait policy is clear, and I have never stopped emphasizing the `1992 consensus,'" Ma said in Taipei County.

His remarks came one day after the KMT Central Standing Committee approved a draft of the party's key missions for next year. That draft omits the guidelines and the "1992 consensus" from its guidance on cross-strait policy.

Ma also denied a report in the Chinese-language United Daily News that the KMT had omitted the two in order to solicit more support from "neutral" voters to boost his election chances. He said the draft did not reflect the party's policies.

"Key policies such as the `1992 consensus' are listed in the party's charter, but not necessarily mentioned in an annual document like this one. It's unnecessary to make a fuss about it," he said.

The so-called "1992 consensus" refers to an alleged consensus reached between Chinese and Taiwanese negotiators during talks in Hong Kong in 1992 that there is "one China, with each side having its own interpretation."

KMT Legislator Su Chi (蘇起) admitted in March last year that he made up the term "1992 consensus" before the transfer of power in 2000.

KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) also defended the party's consistency on cross-strait policy yesterday, saying that the draft mission statement would not be finalized until next week.

"If people are confused or have misunderstandings about the missions, we will deal with that next week. However, I've made it clear that the KMT's cross-strait policies are based on the `1992 consensus,'" Wu said at KMT headquarters.

Nevertheless, former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) condemned the party for scrapping the guidelines and the "1992 consensus," and urged it not to abandon its beliefs for election purposes.

"I am deeply stunned and confused by this absurd move ? The `1992 consensus' has been the KMT's cross-strait policy and a firm belief shared by party members and supporters," Lien said yesterday in a written statement.

"Winning elections is the expectation of all party members, but we can't dance to other people's tunes and budge from our position," he said.

Lien insisted that the "1992 consensus" was part of history, the status quo and a fact. He warned a move away from them could cost the party some of its deep-blue support.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) also warned against such a move.

"For the KMT to abandon the `1992 consensus' is like the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] giving up on Taiwan independence. It would have a serious impact on the party," Wang said.

He said the move had sparked criticism from many deep-blue members, who said they could not understand the decision.

"Scrapping the consensus may have a huge impact on the elections ? I urge the party to seek consensus before making any decisions on major policies," Wang said.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) slammed the KMT move to eliminate unification rhetoric from its internal documents as an election ploy aimed at deceiving voters.

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