A senior Chinese official on Sunday said China would take actions to benefit the Taiwanese public, while insisting on the so-called “1992 consensus” and opposing Taiwan independence, which some observers said shows that China continues to employ a carrot-and-stick approach to cross-strait exchanges.
At the sixth Straits Forum in Xiamen, China, on Sunday, Yu Zhengsheng (俞正聲), China’s top political adviser and a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee, said the two sides of the Taiwan Strait should have more mutual understanding, respect and tolerance as a family.
He added that Beijing would continue to push for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations and policies that would benefit Taiwanese, as well as enlarging participation in and beneficiaries of cross-strait exchanges.
“We should do things that are good for the peoples on both sides of the Strait, especially things that would benefit the public in Taiwan,” he said.
Yu said China is in the process of deepening reforms and opening up more to the outside world.
“This will provide a very good environment for the people of Taiwan, especially the younger generation, as they can realize their dreams on a larger stage,” he said.
He reiterated that cross-strait relations could be stable and well developed, as long as they are developed on the common basis of “opposing Taiwan independence, insisting on the “1992 consensus” and protecting the “one China” framework.
The “1992 consensus” refers to a supposed understanding that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) says was reached in 1992 between Taiwanese and Chinese representatives, under which both sides claim to have acknowledged that there was “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “one China” means.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and others say that the consensus does not exist.
Former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) said in 2006 that he had made up the term in 2000 before the KMT handed over power to the DPP.
Taiwanese representatives at the forum included Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), New Party Chairman Yu Mu-ming (郁慕明) and Taipei Deputy Mayor Timothy Ting (丁庭宇).
When meeting with Yu, Hung said some people in Taiwan and China are worried that the Sunflower movement would block the development of cross-strait relations.
However, she said she was not so pessimistic.
She said that the issues of the widening gap between the rich and the poor, as well as the younger generation’s dissatisfaction with the government are problems that exist in many countries amid the global trend toward free trade.
While the Sunflower movement may have some impact on the service trade agreement and future cross-strait negotiations, she said it is normal in a democracy for government policies to confront challenges and criticism, adding that the government would be more open and tolerant to negotiate with the public and take challenges, hoping not to delay further cross-strait exchanges.
As the trade pact gives Taiwanese businesses priority in the Chinese market over other foreign capital, Hung added that there have also been many China-based Taiwanese businesspeople complaining that they have been alienated by Chinese laws and policies, despite having invested in China for 20 or 30 years.