Sat, Nov 03, 2007 - Page 3 News List

KMT retains `consensus' commitment

NO CHANGE Wu Den-yih said Ma Ying-jeou didn't know of the `1992 consensus' being omitted in the draft mission, while Ma tried to reassure supporters of his commitment

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

A supporter of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou holds up a Chinese-language newspaper with a picture of former KMT chairman Lien Chan in Taipei yesterday. Lien has criticized Ma and the party for omitting the ``1992 consensus'' and the National Unification Guidelines in the draft for the party's mission statement next year.

PHOTO: CNA

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Secretary-General Wu Den-yi (吳敦義) yesterday shouldered the responsibility for the omission of the so-called "1992 consensus" from the party's draft mission statement,but stressed that the KMT remained committed to the "consensus."

Wu further denied that KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) had any knowledge of the change and dismissed reports that the change was a mistake by party aides.

"I accepted the party aides' suggestions that some of the contents could be removed in the document, but it doesn't mean that we are changing our position," Wu Den-yi said yesterday at the Legislative Yuan when approached for comment.

The KMT Central Standing Committee on Wednesday approved a draft of the party's key missions for next year, which did not mention the National Unification Guidelines and the "1992 consensus" in its guidance on cross-strait policy.

The move triggered criticisms from former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰), People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) and deep-blue members, urging Ma and the KMT not to abandon the party's beliefs for election purposes.

Wu Den-yi said the KMT has always cherished deep-blue supporters, and it would discuss the issue before finalizing the document during the committee meeting next Wednesday.

"The 1992 consensus reflects the position of the KMT, and it is included in the party charter. Chairman Lien was misled by the media," he said.

Ma yesterday reiterated the importance of the "1992 consensus" to the KMT's cross-strait policy but declined to answer whether his top aides were involved in altering the draft mission statement.

"The document is much less important than our party charter. I don't know why the issue has been exaggerated," Ma said.

"It's meaningless to argue over the 1992 consensus when the main concern of the people is the economy. I have always believed in the 1992 consensus," he said.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) urged the party to give a detailed explanation after finalizing the content of the document during the committee meeting next week.

The "1992 consensus" refers to an alleged consensus reached between Chinese and Taiwanese negotiators during talks in Hong Kong in 1992 that there is "one China, with each side having its own interpretation."

KMT Legislator Su Chi (蘇起) admitted in March last year that he made up the term "1992 consensus" before the transfer of power to the Democratic Progressive Party government in 2000.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said he couldn't understand why the KMT reversed its stance on abandoning the national unification guidelines and the "1992 consensus." He also said Ma had abruptly changed his stand when faced with opposition and indignation from his supporters.

"It's unbelievable," the president said while on an inspection tour of Taichung County.

"What are we supposed to do if we hand over the country to Ma and he just changes his goals and ideals whenever he is under pressure?" he said.

Chen said he welcomed the KMT's scrapping of the guidelines and the "1992 consensus" because that would conform to mainstream opinion.

In a separate setting, Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said he was not surprised at Ma's reported vacillation on the issue, saying Ma was a person "who would give up his beliefs for election purposes."

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