Tue, May 24, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Poll shows support for ‘1992 consensus’ recognition

Staff writer, with CNA

Almost four in 10 Taiwanese approve of the idea that President-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) should recognize the so-called “1992 consensus” so that the contacts and negotiation mechanism between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can continue as usual, a newspaper survey released yesterday showed.

One day after Tsai was sworn in as the Republic of China’s first female president, China said that only by insisting on the “1992 consensus” can cross-strait exchanges be maintained.

On this insistence, the survey, which was conducted over the weekend by the Chinese-language United Daily News, found 39.6 percent of respondents said Tsai should recognize the consensus, while 29.7 percent said they are opposed to the idea and 30.7 percent declined to comment.

Beijing insists that Tsai’s government accept the “1992 consensus” that underpinned cross-strait relations in the eight years that her predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), was in office.

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

Tsai and the Democratic Progressive Party have so far denied the existence of such consensus.

The survey found that among the 46 percent of respondents who said they were aware of the content of Tsai’s inaugural address, 76 percent said they were satisfied with the speech, while 15 percent said they were not.

Among the respondents who were aware of Tsai’s speech, 63 percent said they are satisfied with Tsai’s statement in her speech that she respects the Republic of China Constitution and the historic truth of the cross-strait talks in Hong Kong in 1992, and that her government would conduct cross-strait affairs in accordance with the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例).

Twenty percent said they were not satisfied with Tsai’s remarks, while 17 percent had no comment, the survey showed.

Asked if they were concerned about Beijing’s possible cessation of cross-strait communication and contact mechanism, and the cutting of negotiation channels between the two sides because Tsai did not mention the “1992 consensus” in her inaugural speech, 60 percent said they do not fear the consequences, 27 percent said they worry that cross-strait links would change and 13 percent had no comment.

Twent-six percent of the respondents said they believe there would be no big changes on the development of cross-strait relations during Tsai’s tenure, 18 percent said ties would improve, 21 percent said they would deteriorate and 25 percent had no comment, the survey showed.

The poll was conducted via telephone interviews with randomly selected adults in Taiwan. There were 1,056 valid responses with a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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