President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday called on allies to help defend Taiwan’s sovereignty, accusing China of waging a “deliberate campaign” to undermine the nation’s democracy by refusing to talk to her government.
Tsai’s comments capped a week of escalating rhetoric between the two sides of the Strait, sparked by a speech from Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) on Wednesday.
Xi, who described Taiwan’s unification with China as “inevitable” and reiterated Beijing’s willingness to use force if necessary, called for unification under the “one country, two systems” formula and defined the so-called “1992 consensus” as being based on the “one China” principle.
The “1992 consensus” is a term that former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000.
Saying that the term “1992 consensus” no longer has room for ambiguity, as Beijing has redefined it as “one country, two systems,” Tsai yesterday called on all political parties in Taiwan to stop using the term “1992 consensus” and to “clearly speak out our rejection of the ‘one country, two systems’ formula.”
Tsai also hit out at Beijing’s willingness to bypass her elected government as “a continuation of its deliberate campaign to undermine and subvert our democratic process and create division in our society.”
“At a time when we are exhausting efforts to avoid provocation and miscommunication, China’s actions are unhelpful and contrary to democratic practices,” she said in a briefing with foreign media yesterday.
China’s increasingly aggressive rhetoric toward Taiwan was a test of whether democratic allies would protect each other, Tsai said.
“If the international community fails to speak up for and assist Taiwan under the circumstances we face today, I have to ask which country will be next,” she added.
The “one country, two systems” model was implemented in Hong Kong after Britain handed it back to China as a way to guarantee the kind of liberties and government unseen in authoritarian China.
Sliding freedoms in Hong Kong have done little to endear the idea of a similar deal to Taiwanese.
Tsai said it would be impossible for her government or any Taiwanese politician to accept Xi’s recent remarks “without betraying the trust and will of the people of Taiwan.”
In response, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spokesman Ouyang Lung (歐陽龍) said it would be impossible for the party to abandon the “1992 consensus,” as the term is a “historical truth.”
Reiterating the KMT’s version of the “consensus” — that both sides of the Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” but with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means — Ouyang said Xi’s combining the “consensus” with “one country, two systems” is wrong.
Additional reporting by Shih Hsiao-kuan
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s