Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) on Sunday once again denied the existence of the so-called “1992 consensus” allegedly reached by cross-strait representatives almost two decades ago.
“There is no such consensus, but some people continue to maintain that it exists. Politicians should not tell [lies] to the public,” Lee, who was president between 1988 and 2000, told an event held to celebrate his upcoming birthday.
Instead, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), a party he once headed, has used the so-called consensus as a mask for its unification agenda, Lee said.
The so-called “1992 consensus” referred to by the KMT basically means “one China” and should be of serious concern to Taiwan, he said.
“Taiwan is a democracy and a sovereign and independent country; we should not be talking on the issue of ‘one China’ with communist China,” he said.
His comments are the latest denial of the so-called consensus, defined by the KMT as a tacit agreement that there is only “one China” — the meaning of which is open to interpretation. The accord was reached by cross-strait -representatives after a meeting in 1992, according to the KMT.
However, numerous high--profile politicians have denied that this agreement ever took place, despite the consensus now becoming official government policy. The late Koo Chen-fu (辜振甫), the former Straits Exchange Foundation chairman who led talks with China during that period, has denied that a consensus was ever reached.
Former KMT legislator Su Chi (蘇起), who later became head of the National Security Council, admitted in February 2006 that he made up the term in 2000 — when he was head of the Mainland Affairs Council — to break the cross-strait deadlock and alleviate tension.
On Thursday, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) challenged Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to clearly state whether her party acknowledged the so-called consensus between Taiwan and China. He said such recognition was the “bedrock” for cross-strait peace.
Tsai yesterday said the president should have first asked himself whether the so-called “1992 consensus” actually existed. The DPP has never acknowledged the existence of the consensus or of “one China,” she said.
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