The Presidential Office yesterday challenged Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to explain how she intends to negotiate with China if she continues to deny the existence of the so-called “1992 consensus,” which President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has described as the cornerstone of cross-strait negotiations.
Presidential Office spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) said he had answers for three questions asked by the DPP, but he hoped Tsai would also answer his questions.
The first question, Lo said, was how, if it returned to power, the DPP intended to develop cross-strait relations if Tsai continued to deny the existence of the “1992 consensus.”
The KMT has defined the “1992 consensus” as a tacit agreement between Taipei and Beijing that there is but “one China” whose meaning is open for each side to interpret.
Former KMT legislator Su Chi (蘇起) admitted in February 2006 that he made up the term in 2000 — when he was head of the Mainland Affairs Council — to break the cross-strait deadlock and alleviate tension.
Secondly, Lo asked whether Tsai is against the “three noes” proposed by Ma.
The “three nos” are no discussion of unification with Beijing during Ma’s presidency, no pursuit or support for de jure Taiwanese independence and no use of force to resolve conflict over Taiwan’s status.
Lo said that while former DPP chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) had recently declared that “there is no substantive meaning to shouting loudly for Taiwanese independence,” he would like to know whether Tsai supported independence for Taiwan.
Finally, Lo said that on the one hand, Tsai said the DPP would continue Ma’s cross-strait policies if it returned to power, but on the other hand, she has criticized Ma’s cross-strait policies for leaning too much toward China.
Lo said Taipei and Beijing had signed 15 agreements since Ma took office. He then posed the following questions: Which agreement tilted too much toward China and created uneasiness? Which accords did Tsai intend to keep and which did she plan to terminate? Would she repeal the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA)? If she kept it, would she not owe Taiwanese an apology for making “scary” and “false” remarks about the trade pact?
Lo made the remarks in response to three questions asked by DPP spokesman Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌). Ma had previously asked the DPP chairperson to explain her position on the “1992 consensus,” to which she replied that it was hard for her to recognize something that does not exist.
To the DPP’s question about what the “1992 consensus” stands for, Lo said the consensus was reached in 1992 when both sides of the Taiwan Strait recognized that there is only “one China” and that each side had its own interpretation of what “one China” meant.
On the second question, which concerned whether the Republic of China (ROC) existed under the so-called “1992 consensus,” Lo said: “Of course it does.”
For Taiwan, “one China” refers to the ROC, Lo said, adding that Tsai Ing-wen owed citizens of the ROC an apology for claiming the ROC was a government-in-exile.
On the third question, as to whether China accepted the “1992 consensus,” Lo said the answer was clear. After Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) had a telephone conversation with then-US president George W. Bush on March 26, 2008, an English report by -Xinhua news agency quoted Hu as saying that cross-strait talks were based on the “1992 consensus,” with Taipei and Beijing recognizing there was only “one China” and that each side has its own interpretation, Lo said.