President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) repeated lies about the existence of the so-called “1992 consensus” are a “disgrace to Taiwan’s democracy,” former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said yesterday in a press release.
The statement came in response to comments by Ma on Thursday in which he said that the “1992 consensus” was formulated under Lee’s directive during his presidency and that it was in line with the Constitution.
Lee yesterday reiterated that the consensus never existed and said Ma has continued to lie to the public.
“I have said dozens of times publicly that there was no consensus reached in 1992. Late Straits Exchange Foundation [SEF] chairman Koo Chen-fu (辜振甫) said there was no consensus and former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted that he coined the phrase,” Lee’s statement said.
“However, President Ma has continued to advocate the ‘1992 consensus’ and has tried to deceive Taiwanese,” it added. “Does he think that a lie will become the truth if you tell the lie a hundred times? This has caused serious harm and is a disgrace to Taiwan’s democracy.”
Ma on Thursday defended the “1992 consensus,” saying that the consensus was reached on Aug. 1, 1992, during a meeting of the National Unification Commission (NUC) presided over by Lee and that “one China” refers to the Republic of China.
According to Ma, at the NUC meeting Lee defined “one China” as “the People’s Republic of China on the mainland and the Republic of China on Taiwan” and the definition later became the basis of the principle “one China, with different interpretations.”
“History can not be fabricated and altered, and only a tyrant would fabricate historical facts,” Lee said in the statement yesterday, adding that Ma should not lie because Lee is still alive to refute the lies.
Beijing defines the “1992 consensus” as “one China” only, the former president added, while Ma defined the consensus as “one China, with different interpretations.”
Ma’s re-election office yesterday dismissed Lee’s criticism and insisted on the existence of the “1992 consensus.”
Ma’s campaign spokesperson Lee Chia-fei (李佳霏) said Ma has clearly said the consensus was based on the 1992 NUC meeting.
“The president’s remarks are based on facts and historical facts won’t change because politicians’ change their stance,” she said.
Ma said that Lee presided over the meeting in preparation for cross-strait negotiations between the SEF and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) in October 1992 in Hong Kong and, despite the fact that no concrete results were reached during the negotiations, the SEF and ARATS agreed that each side could have its own interpretation of “one China.”
Additional reporting by Mo Yan-chih