Tue, May 09, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Bid reliant on ‘consensus’: China

Staff writer, with CNA

As long as Taiwan refuses to accept the so-called “1992 consensus,” there can be no basis for its participation in this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA), a senior Chinese official said yesterday, as Taiwan continued its efforts to be allowed to participate as an observer.

If Taiwan wishes to join international organizations, it must adhere to the fundamental condition — recognition of the “one China” principle and the “1992 consensus,” China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) told reporters during a visit to Suqian in China’s Jiangsu Province, adding that Taiwan’s participation in international activities must first be arranged via negotiations with China.

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

Even before President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party took office in May last year, she has refused to heed the call of China and former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for Taiwan to recognize the “1992 consensus” as the sole foundation for cross-strait exchanges.

As a result, China has suspended official dialogue with Taiwan and has redoubled its efforts to prevent Taiwan’s participation in international organizations.

In response to media queries on the issue, Zhang said that Taiwan attended the annual assembly as an observer for eight consecutive years from 2009.

During that time, Taiwan’s participation was “a special arrangement made through cross-strait negotiations” against the backdrop of mutual recognition of “one China” and a desire for peaceful development of cross-strait relations, Zhang said.

However, since Tsai’s administration took office, it has refused to acknowledge the “1992 consensus” or to recognize that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are part of “one China,” he said.

“The precondition and basis for Taiwan’s presence at the WHA no longer exist,” Zhang said. “And everyone is quite clear as to which side should be responsible.”

Asked about Tsai’s calls for a new model in the development of cross-strait ties, Zhang declined to comment, saying only that since May 20 last year, cross-strait relations have been going “in a worrisome direction.”

Since 2009, Taiwan has attended the WHA as an observer under the name “Chinese Taipei” in accordance with an agreement between the governments on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and the WHO.

Last year, after Tsai took office, Taiwan received a last-minute invitation to the WHA that for the first time included a reminder that the “one China” principle was the basis of UN Resolution 2758 and WHA Resolution 25.1, under which Taiwan was allowed to attend.

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