Fri, Nov 17, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Ma Ying-jeou urges return to original ‘1992 consensus’

By Shih Hsiao-kuang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese government should both return to the original spirit of the so-called “1992 consensus” and de-escalate cross-strait tension, former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday on the 25th anniversary of the purported conception of the consensus.

Former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) said in 2006 that he had made up the term “1992 consensus” in 2000.

On Nov. 16, 1992, China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) sent a fax to the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), saying that “it fully respected and accepted the SEF’s suggestions on the ‘one China’ principle” and that “both sides of the Strait adhere to the ‘one China’ principle, but retain separate definitions of ‘China,’” an agreement that later became known as the “1992 consensus,” Ma wrote on Facebook.

People on both sides of the Taiwan Strait all belong to the zhonghua minzu (中華民族, “Chinese ethnic group”) Ma said, adding that Taiwan should not ignore the fact that Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) mentioned the “1992 consensus” four times during the Chinese Communist Party’ s 19th National Congress.

In 2000, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who was chairwoman of the Mainland Affairs Council at the time, said that both sides of the Strait should “express their own definition of China,” Ma said, adding that he felt the DPP should once again take this stance to improve cross-strait relations and resume constructive dialogue.

“We must admit that neither the US nor Japan could help in ameliorating cross-strait relations; Taiwan must do so itself,” Ma said.

On the other hand, Ma cautioned the Chinese against indiscriminate attacks on the “separate definitions of China” as it would only harm friends and benefit rivals.

The “separate definitions of China” is a cornerstone of cross-strait policy, grounded in the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例), which seeks to create a win-win scenario prior to the unification of the nation, Ma said.

Ma said the solution to improving cross-strait relations is for both sides to return to the basic spirit of the consensus.

Ma concluded his remarks by quoting a 2008 telephone call between then-Chinese president Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) and then-US president George W. Bush on the issue.

“It is China’s consistent stand that the Chinese mainland [sic] and Taiwan should restore consultation and talks on the basis of the ‘1992 consensus,’ which sees both sides recognize there is only ‘one China’ but agree to differ on its definition,” Hu said in the call.

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