Tue, Jul 14, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Ma reiterates importance of ‘1992 consensus’

Staff writer, with CNA

President Ma Ying-jeou pitches a baseball at a children’s center in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic, on Sunday during his visit to the nation’s diplomatic ally.

Photo: CNA

Taiwan and China have found a model for peaceful coexistence — namely, the so-called “1992 consensus,” or “one China, different interpretations,” President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said on two separate occasions in Boston on Saturday.

Addressing a banquet in honor of Taiwanese expatriates in the US, Ma said that the concept of the “1992 consensus” was proposed by Taiwan and accepted by China.

Some people have described the policy as a “masterpiece of ambiguity,” he said.

Regardless of whether it is ambiguous, the consensus has helped the two sides of the Taiwan Strait set aside their sovereignty disputes and pool their efforts for mutual benefit, Ma said.

The “1992 consensus” — a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese government that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

To promote peace, Ma said that since he took office, he has been promoting cross-strait relations, and trade and tourism exchanges have reached their highest point in 66 years.

Exchanges between the two sides are helpful for both sides, the president said, adding that he hopes they can continue exchanges and interactions based on the principle of the “1992 consensus.”

During the banquet, Ma also thanked the Massachusetts State House for its concern over burns victims from the June 27 explosion and fire at the Formosa Fun Coast water park in New Taipei City.

Ma also spoke at a seminar at Harvard University, with students, teachers, as well as US academics familiar with Taiwanese affairs attending.

The president reiterated his administration’s commitment to the “status quo,” his “three noes” policy of “no unification, no independence and no use of force,” and peaceful and prosperous cross-strait relations based on the Republic of China’s Constitution and the “1992 consensus.”

Up to 80 percent of the Taiwanese public supports maintaining the “status quo,” an indication that they hope to maintain peaceful and prosperous cross-strait relations created by his administration over the past seven years, Ma was reported as saying.

New York University School of Law professor Jerome Cohen reportedly proposed that Ma be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his initiatives to resolve disputes in the East and South China seas.

Cohen made his proposal during the question-and-answer session after Ma’s speech, saying that he expects Ma to provide more proactive measures to promote peace on Itu Aba (Taiping Island, 太平島) in the South China Sea, according to a person who attended the seminar.

Itu Aba is the biggest Taiwan-controlled island in the contested and resource-rich South China Sea region, which is claimed either entirely or in part by Taiwan, Brunei, China, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Ma touted the benefits of a fisheries’ agreement signed in 2013 between Taiwan and Japan to address fishing disputes in waters surrounding the disputed Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) after his East China Sea peace initiative — which calls for shelving disputes and seeking joint development of resources — was proposed.

Ma said his proposal was based on the idea that “while national sovereignty cannot be divided or compromised, natural resources can be shared,” according to the attendee.

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