The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday dismissed Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) speech reiterating Beijing’s “one China” principle as “uninnovative” and repetitive, while the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) urged governments from both sides of the Taiwan Strait to work together to improve relations.
Xi’s talk was “mostly a repetition of his previous remarks and was uninnovative,” DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said.
“By repeatedly claiming Taiwan as a part of its territory, China would only push Taiwanese further away,” Lee added.
Most Taiwanese are unlikely to accept Xi’s proposed “one country, two systems” formula, he said.
“We are a peace-loving and democratic people, and while we do want to engage in exchanges with China, at the very least they should respect our will,” he said.
Since taking office in 2016, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has consistently held out an olive branch to Beijing in the hope of improving cross-strait relations, Lee said.
“However, mutual respect is the most important thing and how is it respectful to be constantly calling the other country part of yours?” he said. “Taiwan must insist that it is a sovereign and independent nation, and China should respect that.”
Xi made it clear that the so-called “1992 consensus” means accepting the “one China” principle, “leaving absolutely no room for ‘each side having its own interpretation,’” he added.
The KMT should “stop using it [the ‘1992 consensus’] to deceive Taiwanese” and “give them false hope,” Lee 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 KMT and the Chinese Communist Party that both sides acknowledge that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
As cross-strait relations continue to deteriorate, government leaders on both sides of the Strait are responsible for seeking new space and ways to ameliorate mutual development, KMT caucus secretary-general William Tseng (曾銘宗) said.
“While Mainland China should have less prerequisites [for collaboration], the DPP administration should be more flexible in terms of its ideological stance, so that both can explore more creative solutions,” he said, adding that the standoff can only be resolved by creating positive interactions.
In response to criticism over the KMT’s approach to the “1992 consensus,” he said that the room for interpreting “one China” existed under former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration.
“The Ma administration adhered to the ‘1992 consensus’ with ‘each side having its own interpretation’ for eight years and it is a fact that cannot be denied,” he said.
New Power Party (NPP) Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) called on Xi to talk to Taiwanese political parties in an “open, transparent and equal manner” without having the “one China” principle as a prerequisite.
“Mr Xi can of course talk about his Chinese dream, while we should be able to express why China and Taiwan are two [separate] countries, and what China can learn from Taiwan’s democracy and human rights protection, because that is what would make the conversation truly meaningful,” Huang wrote on Facebook.
Democracy, freedom, protection of human rights and the right to choose how one would like to live are subjects that China cannot avoid in public conversations, he said.
Huang urged Beijing to “earn respect” by following through its promises, adding that it had failed to report the spread of the African swine fever, despite having signed a cross-strait agreement on disease control and prevention in 2009.
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