The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said that responsibility for maintaining peace and stability in cross-strait relations rest with both sides in response to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) recent remarks that rejection of the “common political basis” would bring about volatility and instability in relations.
At a panel discussion with members of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Beijing on Wednesday, Xi spoke of the importance of adherence to what he called cross-strait “common political basis” — the “1992 consensus” — while urging vigilance against Taiwan independence.
Xi’s comments on the “1992 consensus” were mere repetition, but they cast doubt on the President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration’s claim that the formula allows for Taiwan’s interpretation of “one China” being the Republic of China (ROC) and were interpreted by academics in China and the US as a statement targeted at the DPP, whose return to power in the presidential election in January next year is on the cards.
Asked by the Taipei Times yesterday, the Presidential Office and the Mainland Affairs Council both declined to comment on Xi terming China’s assertion that “the mainland and Taiwan belong to the same one China” as the “core element” of the “1992 consensus,” while making no mention of “respective interpretation” of what the “one China” is — the part of the formula repeatedly emphasized by the Ma administration.
The “1992 consensus” has played an “irreplaceable” role in establishing mutual trust, opening dialogue and negotiations, and improving cross-strait relations, Xi said, adding that the trust would no longer exist and that relations would regress back to the past when they were volatile and unstable, should the common political basis be challenged.
“We have unswervingly insisted that adherence to the ‘1992 consensus’ is the basis of and a prerequisite to our interaction with Taiwan authority and every political party,” Xi said. “Any political party or group in Taiwan will be able to engage with China without hindrance as long as [they adhere to the 1992 consensus].”
DPP Department of Chinese Affairs Director Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) yesterday was questioned by reporters over whether the party recognizes the “1992 consensus” and whether it has alternatives to the “1992 consensus” palatable to China.
Chao said that the party would stick to the ground rules, titled “three benefits and three demands,” which the party has recently announced, to pursue cross-strait relations “beneficial to the nation’s development of freedom and democracy, peace, security, stability in the region and the reciprocity and interests of both sides of the strait.”
In the meantime, the DPP insists on transparency and democracy in government policymaking processes, multi-sided participation and equal opportunities in cross-strait exchange processes, and the result of exchanges contributing to the good of society, Chao said.
Maintaining peace and stability in cross-strait relations requires the expectations of people on both sides of the strait and the international community to be met, Chao said, adding that “the responsibility [to achieve the goal] falls on each side of the strait.”
In response to Xi’s statement on the “1992 consensus,” Presidential Office spokesperson Charles Chen (陳以信) said that under the framework of the ROC Constitution, the government would continue to seek to maintain “status quo” through a policy of “no unification, no independence and no use of force” in the Taiwan Strait and look to the “1992 consensus, one China with each side having its own interpretation” to serve as the basis from which to promote the development of peaceful cross-strait relations.
Meanwhile, in receiving visitors from the Hoover Institute at Stanford University yesterday morning, Ma said his cross-strait policy based on the ideas Chen stated not only stabilized cross-strait relations, but also consolidated Taiwan-US relations.
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