Thu, Oct 12, 2017 - Page 3 News List

‘1992 consensus’ may have lost its relevance: academic

By Jonathan Chin  /  Staff writer

Mainland Affairs Council Minister Katharine Chang speaks at a Chunghwa Post Co exhibition in Taipei marking 30 years of cross-strait exchanges yesterday.

Photo courtesy of Chunghwa Post Co

The absence of any references to the so-called “1992 consensus” in China’s response to President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) Double Ten National Day speech has led to speculation over its significance to the cross-strait narrative, a Taiwan-China relations researcher said.

In response to Tsai’s speech, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) on Tuesday said the peaceful development of cross-strait relations depends on the “one China” principle and expressed opposition to Taiwanese independence, but made no reference to the “1992 consensus.”

The “1992 consensus,” a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000, refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese government that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

The TAO’s response was “unprecedented” because it emphasized the “one China” principle instead of the “1992 consensus,” which has been mentioned in its past comments on Taiwan, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said.

“Although President Tsai’s public statements have been consistent throughout her term in office and have not crossed any red lines laid out by China, Beijing has continued to escalate its hardline position with each response. This is not the way to show goodwill,” Huang said.

“Tsai has never said or done anything shocking. Such responses [from China] are rather disappointing,” he said.

China refrained from mentioning the “1992 consensus” because it has realized that the consensus is deeply unpopular in Taiwan, National Chengchi University professor Chen Fang-ming (陳芳明) said.

Moreover, the Chinese government might have conceded that the KMT’s chances of returning to power are slim, Chen said.

“If they thought the KMT would retake the government, they would have insisted the Democratic Progressive Party accept the ‘1992 consensus,’” he added.

“It is clear that the ‘1992 consensus’ is a KMT fabrication meant to deceive Taiwanese through collusion with the Chinese Communist Party [CCP],” he said.

Beijing needs to find a new narrative as its basis for future dialogue with the DPP because its under-the-table agreements with the KMT are bound to be rejected by the DPP, Chen added.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) might not officially respond to Tsai’s comments until he has secured his grip on power after the Chinese Communist Party’s National Congress, which begins on Wednesday next week, Chen said.

The Tsai administration’s “promises and goodwill remain unchanged,” Mainland Affairs Council Minister Katharine Chang (張小月) said yesterday at a Chunghwa Post Co exhibition in Taipei.

The council will not jump to any conclusions about the TAO’s comments because the CCP is expected to elaborate its official line on cross-strait policy at its congress, Chang said.

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