The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday released a transcript of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) at their closed-door meeting in Singapore on Saturday, as the landmark meeting continues to be marred by accusations of backroom dealings and the erosion of Taiwan’s sovereignty claims.
Ma delivered a 20-minute speech that addressed five areas: creating sustainable cross-strait peace and prosperity based on the so-called “1992 consensus”; reducing hostility and tackling disputes peacefully; expanding cross-strait exchanges to create win-win scenarios; establishing a cross-strait hotline for urgent issues; and reinvigorating the Zhonghua minzu (Chinese ethnic group, 中華民族) through cross-strait cooperation.
The “1992 consensus” refers to a tacit understanding reached during cross-strait talks in 1992 that both Taiwan and China acknowledge that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
Former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted that he made up the term in 2000 while still in office, but it remains the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) cornerstone for dialogue with China.
“On Aug. 1, 1992, our [now-defunct] National Unification Council unanimously passed a resolution regarding the meaning of ‘one China’: both sides of the Taiwan Strait will adhere to the ‘one China’ principle, but will have different definitions of the term,” Ma said, according to the transcript.
Ma went on to say that “the ‘1992 consensus’ reached by the two sides in November 1992 stipulates that both sides of the Taiwan Strait will adhere to the ‘one China’ principle, but can verbally state their respective interpretations of what the term means.”
Taiwan’s interpretation does not include the terms “two Chinas,” “one China, one Taiwan” or “Taiwanese independence,” all of which are prohibited by the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution, Ma said.
“This position is rather unequivocal and is supported by the majority of Taiwanese,” Ma said.
The transcript was released after Ma defended his omission of the “different interpretations” component, which he often touts, when discussing the “1992 consensus” during his opening remarks at the meeting by saying it was mentioned during the closed-door session.
Ma said he brought up the Constitution twice with Xi, as well as one mention each of the ROC and “one China, different interpretations.”
Ma also mentioned the Constitution when speaking of the 1991 abolishment of the Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion (動員戡亂時期臨時條款), putting an end to the government treating the People’s Republic of China as a rebellious entity.
That was followed by the implementation of the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) in 1992, which institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, Ma said.
Regarding Chinese military deployments targeting Taiwan, Ma said that since the 23 cross-strait pacts signed by his administration were based on “peace” and were designed to help “maintain peace,” they could all be deemed peace treaties in a broad sense.
“I would like to explain to Mr Xi that recent media reports of [Chinese] military exercises at the Zhurihe training base and missiles [aimed at Taiwan] have given opposition parties leverage to criticize cross-strait ties,” Ma said.
“If possible, some well-intended actions by your side should help abate this sort of unnecessary criticism,” Ma added.
Turning to the growing predicaments faced by Taiwan in participating in international events, Ma said meaningful participation in the international community has always been the Taiwanese public’s greatest aspiration.
“The viable diplomatic platform promoted by our side over the past seven years has helped to create a virtuous cycle in cross-strait relations,” Ma said.
“However, this cycle has yet to reach its full potential, as evidenced by the UN recently refusing Taiwanese carrying [ROC] passports entry to its headquarters,” Ma added.
Impediments have also been encountered by Taiwanese specialists seeking to attend meetings held by non-governmental organizations and by the government in its attempts to join bilateral or multilateral economic and trade discussions.
“These circumstances have created a negative perception of Taiwanese, especially those considered to be in the social elite. Both sides should work to reduce hostility and confrontation, beginning from this area,” Ma said.
Ma concluded his speech by urging both sides of the Taiwan Strait to cooperate to create a brighter future for future generations.
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
RIVERSIDE CAMP: As rescuers continued their search for a missing man, Taipower said that the floodgates at a hydro plant on the Lishi Creek opened due to a malfunction Three people have been confirmed dead and one was missing after being swept away by a flash flood while camping in Nantou County’s Renai Township (仁愛), police said yesterday. Six people from two families were camping near Lishi Creek (栗栖溪) when the riverbanks were suddenly flooded just after 4am, carrying away four of the campers — including two children — who were asleep in their tents, police said. A man who was among those swept away was able to climb ashore and call for help, police said, adding that another man had gone missing in the turmoil at the campsite.
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient