It is difficult for Beijing’s unilaterally constructed “one China” principle to win public recognition in Taiwan, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday in response to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) reiteration of Beijing’s determination to quash any Taiwanese pro-independence forces.
The council issued a statement expressing regret over Xi’s report yesterday at the opening ceremony of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) 19th National Congress in Beijing, in which he reiterated Beijing’s adherence to its previous cross-strait policy.
“The differences in [political] systems and ideologies across the Taiwan Strait have not created a gulf in interactions over the past three decades. Rather, artificial obstructions and divisions have been the main causes of the worsening deadlock,” the council said.
The council urged Beijing to accept that it is unlikely for its unilateral and heavy-handed “one China” principle and “one country, two systems” formulation to gain the support of Taiwanese.
“Respect and communication are the only keys to narrowing the differences between the two sides,” the council said.
In his three-and-a-half-hour report, Xi mentioned the so-called “1992 consensus” four times, saying it embodies the spirit of Beijing’s “one China” principle and clearly defines the nature of cross-strait relations.
The “1992 consensus” — a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted to making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the CCP that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
The “1992 consensus” lies at the center of the cross-strait stalemate. Beijing has been persistent in its stance that it is the prerequisite for exchanges and dialogue, while the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has refused to accept it, instead calling for a “new pattern of engagement.”
Meanwhile, Xi said that China over the past five years has firmly opposed and prevented Taiwanese independence, and that Beijing has achieved a historical meeting between the two sides’ leaders.
He was referring to his meeting with then-president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in November 2015, the first meeting between the top leaders of Taiwan and China since the KMT’s retreat to Taiwan in 1949.
China has “the resolve, confidence and ability to defeat separatist attempts for Taiwanese independence in any form,” Xi said.
“We will never allow any person, organization or political party, at any time or in any form, to separate any part of Chinese territory from China,” he said.
The congress is seen as the most significant political gathering in China since Xi came to power in 2012. His remarks on cross-strait relations are to serve as important indicators of Beijing’s policy toward Taiwan.
The council, expressing the hope that China could work to adopt policies that promote “democracy, peace, fairness and justice” as it endeavors to become stronger and carry out systematic reform, called on Beijing to adopt “a new mindset and healthy attitude” toward cross-strait relations.
“When dealing with cross-strait issues, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and her government have a rational and pragmatic attitude, and have refrained from any forms of provocation,” the council said, adding that joint efforts should be made to explore a new model for interactions and to promote pragmatic communication to move cross-strait relations forward.
The Presidential Office issued a mild response compared with that issued by the council.
“The government has endeavored to maintain cross-strait relations based on public opinion and domestic consensus, and has continuously extended a friendly hand in the hope of resolving our divisions and differences through virtuous interactions,” the office said, adding that it believes the international community understands and has noticed those efforts.
The DPP government’s policy to strive for regional peace and stability has always been clear and persistent, the office said.
It also reiterated Tsai’s “new four noes” for cross-strait ties.
“Our goodwill remains unchanged. Our promise [to maintain the ‘status quo’] remains unchanged. We will not return to the old path of conflict and we will not succumb to pressure,” it said.
‘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