Wed, Dec 12, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Baker adds to Taiwanese forced to support ‘consensus’

By Chung Li-hua and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer Staff reporters, with staff

Taiwanese baker Wu Pao-chun (吳寶春) saying that he adheres to the so-called “1992 consensus” and the idea that “the two sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one family” was not the first time that a Taiwanese was coerced into acknowledging the “consensus.”

Wu’s comments on Monday came after his Shanghai bakery, which he jointly launched with Singapore-based Bread Talk, was labeled as a “pro-Taiwan independence” establishment by Chinese.

China has a history of harassing Taiwanese businesses over so-called “political correctness,” which poses risks for Taiwanese seeking to invest there.

Taiwanese bakery and cafe chain 85°C was in August forced to make a statement supporting the “consensus” and referring to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) as “leader of the Taiwan government,” following calls for a boycott by Chinese Internet users.

Tsai had that month visited a 85°C store in Los Angeles during a transit stop on her way to Central America and autographed a store mascot.

However, photographs of the visit were interpreted by Chinese Internet users as store personnel giving Tsai a gift, prompting the calls for the boycott.

US-based navigational device maker Garmin, founded by Taiwanese Kao Min-huan (高民環), was in March forced to issue an apology on its Web site for listing Taiwan as a country, saying that it backed Beijing’s “one China” principle and supported Chinese claims for completeness of its territory.

Former Zhangzhou Taiwanese Businessmen Association honorary chairman Lee Jung-fu (李榮福) was removed from the organization after he attended a Lunar New Year event at the Straits Exchange Foundation in February, during which he said he supported the Tsai administration and its policies regarding the M503 flight path.

Beijing on Jan. 4 unilaterally launched the northbound M503 route without prior consultation with Taiwan. The route is only 4.2 nautical miles (7.8km) west of the median line of the Taiwan Strait, posing risks to national security and flight safety in Taiwan.

Kaohsiung-based Hai Pa Wang Group, which is closely affiliated with Tsai’s family, has been inspected and fined by Chinese authorities multiple times since Tsai took office in May 2016.

The company in December that year issued a news release saying that it was not “pan-green” and that it hoped to work toward the promotion of cross-strait economic development.

Cross-strait issues also featured prominently in the 2012 presidential election.

HTC Corp chairwoman Cher Wang (王雪紅) held a news conference on the eve of the presidential vote, saying in Mandarin as well as Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) that it was difficult to imagine cross-strait relations without the “consensus.”

The statement was considered to have tilted the election in favor of then-president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who was seeking re-election.

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 government that both sides of the Strait acknowledge that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

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