Sat, Nov 07, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Taipei, Beijing negotiate ‘one China’ principle

DIFFERENCE OF OPINION:The MAC minister said whether the ‘one China’ principle is to be a point of consensus at the meeting would be made known today

By Tzou Jiing-wen and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

President Ma Ying-jeou delivers a speech on the anniversary of the death of late president Yen Chia-kan in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Hu Shun-hsiang, Taipei Times

The Chinese government strongly desires that the “one China” principle be made one of the points of “consensus” to be announced after a historic meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in Singapore today.

However, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) officials said that they would prefer the meeting to be based on the so-called “1992 consensus.”

As of press time last night, the two sides were still negotiating the issue.

The “1992 consensus,” a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted making up in 2000, refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and the Chinese government that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

The meeting is the first of its kind since the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lost the Chinese Civil War in 1949 and retreated to Taiwan and its outlying islands.

Ma said the meeting with Xi would not result in any accords, or promises to sign accords of any sort, nor a joint declaration, adding that a press conference would be held after the meeting to highlight the points on which both sides had reached a consensus.

Despite the MAC’s wish to make the so-called “1992 consensus” a point to be mentioned, a poll it conducted last month showed that only 1.3 percent of 1,087 respondents supported making the “1992 consensus” one of the issues to be talked about by the heads of state.

MAC Minister Andrew Hsia (夏立言) said that details were still being hashed out and whether the “one China” principle would make it onto the list of points of consensus would be made known today.

Hsia arrived in Singapore on Thursday and praised the facilities at the Shangri-La Hotel after inspecting the location where the meeting is to take place, adding that he would be conducting a final check today.

Hsia said that the meeting would be on equal terms and there would be no issue of Taiwan being the lesser partner in any way.

Hsia said Xi would not be attending the post-meeting press conference as it was the Chinese custom, as could be seen from Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun’s (張志軍) absence from previous post-meeting press conferences.

Meanwhile, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chinese Affairs Division director Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) said that he hoped Ma would uphold Taiwan’s dignity.

Chao said Taiwanese are not against cross-strait interaction, but such interaction must be based on the prerequisites of dignity, transparency and non-political motives.

That is the basic stance of the DPP on cross-strait interaction, seeing as how democracy and the public will are the key supports on which cross-strait interaction rests, Chao said.

Democratic procedures and ample negotiation with the public on the intentions of a meeting would to a great extent assuage public anxiety, Chao said.

Cross-strait relations should no longer be considered on the basis of benefiting a particular party or the manipulation of elections, Chao said.

The DPP hopes that Ma will be able to uphold these three tenets and not sacrifice Taiwan’s sovereignty, Chao said.

Chao said that while the DPP is not inclined to plan any rallies or protests against the meeting, public will in a democratic society has its own way of manifesting opposition.

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