President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday defended the so-called “1992 consensus” as the basis for the maintenance of the “status quo” across the Taiwan Strait, and said discarding it would create uncertainty.
In response to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) cross-strait platform, Ma said he made clear in his inaugural address that his administration would maintain the “status quo” through the “three noes” under the framework of the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution and develop cross-strait relations on the basis of the “1992 consensus,” and that such policies have been recognized by the international community.
“Throwing out the ‘three noes’ and the ‘1992 consensus’ would create uncertainty in cross-strait relations. It would have a huge impact on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, especially Taiwan,” he said in a speech at a ceremony in Kinmen marking two key anniversaries.
The “three noes” refer to no discussion of unification with Beijing during Ma’s presidency, no pursuit of, or support for, de jure Taiwanese independence and no use of force to resolve cross-strait disputes.
Ma accused the former DPP government and former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of failing to promote peace across the Strait, and isolating Taiwan internationally with his “one country on each side of the Strait” diplomacy.
The consensus — which Ma and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) claim was an agreement reached by Taiwan and China in 1992 that each side recognized “one China,” but had its own interpretation of what it meant — was the basis Taipei and Beijing adopted to handle relations, Ma said, noting 15 agreements had been signed in the past three years “as a result of the consensus.”
“We are just beginning to push for peaceful cross-strait relations, and the foundation for mutual trust ... remains fragile. It requires long-term efforts from both sides to maintain peace across the Strait,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mainland Affairs Council Minister Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) accused Tsai of flip-flopping on the 1992 consensus and challenged her and the DPP over their plans to develop cross-strait relations without using the consensus as a basis for negotiations. The DPP’s refusal to acknowledge the consensus risks pushing cross-strait relations backwards, she said.
“Tsai’s cross-strait policies are empty and constantly changing; the implementation of such policies would create chaos. Taiwan cannot afford chaos brought by empty and changing policies ... The council will continue to defend and implement the right policies,” Lai said.