Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - Page 3 News List

‘1992 consensus’ alive: official

NATION BLOCKING The Presidential Office denied that Chinese President Hu Jintao had disregarded the so-called consensus in his speech, saying it still guided relations

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Presidential Office yesterday brushed off the absence of the so-called “1992 consensus” in the recent remarks by Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), saying cross-strait negotiations were conducted with it in mind.

When asked whether Hu rejected President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) proposal of “mutual non-denial” because he mentioned only “one China” — not “one China with each side having its own interpretation” — in his talk, Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said that all cross-strait negotiations and exchanges have been conducted on the foundation of the “1992 consensus” and “mutual non-denial.”

“The essence of the ‘1992 consensus’ is ‘one China with either side having its own interpretation,’” Wang said during a press conference called to respond to Hu’s recent comments on Taiwan.

In a speech to mark the 30th anniversary of Beijing’s “open letter to Taiwanese compatriots,” Hu on Wednesday called for a pragmatic approach to the political relationship to ease cross-strait tensions.

“As long as the ‘one China’ principle is recognized by both sides ... we can discuss anything,” Hu told a gathering of Chinese Communist Party officials at the Great Hall of the People. “China and Taiwan could at a proper time begin contacts and exchanges on military issues and explore a mechanism to build trust on military matters.”

In addition to vowing to maintain already flourishing business ties, Hu said he understood Taiwan’s desire to take part in “international activities,” but stressed that China would not tolerate any move that suggests independence, “two Chinas,” or “one China, one Taiwan.”

The media yesterday questioned Wang about the ideological interpretations on either side of the Taiwan Strait about the meaning of “one China.” Wang said that differences remained even though both sides denied it, and that it has always been like this. Wang acknowledged Hu’s “new approach” and “practicality,” saying cross-strait ties made headway under his leadership.

Since Ma took office on May 20 last year, Wang said the administration has insisted on protecting the sovereignty of the Republic of China (ROC) and Taiwan’s honor.

“Under the framework of the ROC Constitution, we maintain the status quo of ‘no unification, no independence and no military force,’” he said. “To concertedly pursue peace and prosperity for the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, we resume cross-strait negotiations and exchanges under the principle that ‘Taiwan is always the focus and people’s interest comes first’ and under the foundations of the ‘1992 consensus’ and ‘mutual non-denial.’”

The policy has proven popular, Wang said, and been supported by the Taiwanese public and the international community.

Also See: EDITORIAL: A survey ignored and denied

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