Sat, Dec 24, 2011 - Page 1 News List

2012 ELECTIONS: Ma challenges Tsai over the ‘1992 consensus’

NO CONSENSUS:Ma rejected the need for a democratically decided consensus, saying cross-strait relations were based on democratic processes

By Jake Chung, Chen Hui-ping and Tseng Wei-chen  /  Staff Reporters

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) attacked Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) cross-strait policies in an interview published yesterday, saying that the main reason Tsai refused to accept the so-called “1992 consensus” is because she does not accept the Republic of China (ROC).

“The ‘one China’ in ‘one China, with each side having its own interpretation’ refers to the Republic of China,” Ma was quoted as saying in his interview with the Chinese-language China Times on Thursday. “Why does she [Tsai] not accept it? How hard can it be? If she can’t accept it then that means that she does not accept the Republic of China.”

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government says that the “1992 consensus” was reached during cross-strait talks in Hong Kong in 1992, with both sides agreeing that there is “one China, with each side having its own interpretation.”

The DPP says the “1992 consensus” does not exist.

In the interview, Ma focused on the issue of cross-strait policies. He not only insisted that the “1992 consensus” was not a made-up term, but added that he had twice asked former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to accept the “1992 consensus” and met with a positive response, only to have it blocked by Tsai, then serving as the chairperson of the Mainland Affairs Council.

Referring to Tsai’s proposal of a “Taiwan consensus,” which highlights the democratic process of decisionmaking, Ma accused Tsai and the DPP of claiming that -everything must be subject to democratic processes only because they are against the “1992 consensus.”

The basis for current interaction across the straits is “democratic processes,” Ma said.

“Our definition of ‘one China’ in the ‘1992 consensus’ is the ROC,” Ma was quoted as saying in the interview. “Does that need to be submitted to a democratic process? Do we need to vote again on the name of the nation?”

“Just what kind of democratic process has to be gone through?” Ma asked, adding that if the DPP was not happy with the term “1992 consensus,” then the matter could easily be resolved by changing the term to “one China, different interpretations.”

“Things are generally only named after the fact. The 823 Artillery Bombardment wasn’t called that when it began; its not like we all decided to agree to have a artillery battle on Aug. 23,” Ma said.

Cross-strait relations should be based on “mutual denial of each other’s sovereignty and mutual non-denial of respective jurisdictions,” Ma said, adding that in the process of current cross-strait relationships, it was preferable to retain a small gray area while actually getting some things done.

Ma also said that if one treated the ROC as a government-in-exile, then nothing further could be said on the subject, adding that Tsai had this kind of “psychological disorder.”

In response to Ma’s criticism that Tsai “does not accept the Republic of China,” DPP caucus whip Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) yesterday accused Ma of “deliberately seeking to malign Tsai Ing-wen,” saying that she was running for the presidency of the ROC and had previously stated that “the ROC is Taiwan.”

Tsai Ing-wen only refused to acknowledge the “1992 consensus” under the “one China principle,” Tsai Huang-liang said.

“I hope that Ma apologizes for such unbefitting slander,” he added.

DPP spokesperson Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) also said that Tsai Ing-wen had said many times before that “Taiwan is the ROC, and the ROC is Taiwan.”

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