Chinese officials yesterday gave high praise to the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) statement that both sides of the Taiwan Strait should implement the “one China” principle in their legal and political systems, and conduct cross-strait relations with the principle as its basis.
The remarks by Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) came in the wake of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) recent reply to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) telegram congratulating him on his re-election as KMT chairman, in which Ma said: “Both sides of the Taiwan Strait reached a consensus in 1992 to express each other’s insistence on the ‘one China’ principle.”
Zhang, commenting on the progress made in cross-strait relations over the past five years, said that both sides have achieved mutual trust in resisting the ideology of Taiwanese independence and stayed firm in the “1992 consensus.”
“We are glad that the KMT made clear its willingness to promote the Zhonghua culture and propel the Zhonghua minzu (中華民族, “Chinese ethnic group”) to new glory,” China News Agency quoted Zhang as saying.
As both sides of the Strait share a clearer common understanding in committing to the “one China” framework and reviving the Zhonghua culture to move into a “renaissance period,” “we have cause to believe that there is a future for peaceful development of cross-strait relations, which would motivate us over the ages to the continued revitalization of [our Zhonghua] ethnic group,” Zhang said.
Both sides of the Strait should cherish the historical opportunity and continue beneficial interaction, he said, adding that such foresight by leadership across the Strait would let the people on both sides enjoy the fruits of more in-depth interaction in areas such as the cross-strait economy, technology, culture and education.
The people of both sides should be encouraged to believe in the concept that “both sides of the Strait are family,” he added.
In Taipei, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said Ma was willing to sacrifice national sovereignty in order to enshrine his name in history by paving the way for cross-strait political negotiations.
DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said the only reason the KMT insisted during the 1992 meeting that “each side has its own interpretation” of what “one China” means, was so to avoid tying Taiwan into the “one China” framework.
“Now that Ma is tossing the ‘each side has its own interpretation’ to the side, everything the KMT had fought for in the meeting means nothing,” Lee said.
In response, KMT spokesman Yin Wei (殷瑋) said that the KMT’s stance on the cross-strait status has been consistent, based on the “1992 consensus,” and the “one China” principle means “one China, with each side having its own interpretation.”
“For us [the KMT], the ‘one China’ refers to the Republic of China [ROC],” he said, insisting the party’s stance that “one China” means the ROC has been unequivocal and has never changed.
The “one China” framework was mentioned by former KMT chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) in his meeting with Xi last month. The Ma administration at the time insisted that the “one China” refers to the ROC and that the term did not damage the nation’s sovereignty.
Former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted in 2006 that he had made up the term “1992 consensus” in 2000.
Additional reporting by Shih Hsiao-kuang