Sat, Feb 02, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Not time for China talks: Wu Den-yih

‘NO CONNECTION’:The Chinese Nationalist Party chairman said both sides of the Strait are being governed separately, ‘but they are of an inseparable sovereignty’

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih gives red envelopes to staff at the party’s headquarters in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) on Thursday last week dismissed the possibility of political negotiations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait at the moment, saying there is yet to be a consensus on core issues.

Wu made the remarks in an interview with US broadcaster Voice of America.

A brief outline of the interview was published by the KMT in a press release yesterday.

Despite a longstanding debate over the meaning of the so-called “1992 consensus,” which resurfaced after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) speech about Taiwan on Jan. 2, it remains the most significant foundation of peaceful cross-strait development, Wu said.

“There is no connection between Xi’s one country, two systems formula and the 1992 consensus,” Wu said.

The former “is merely his expectation for the future and a goal he intends to pursue,” Wu said, adding that it was unacceptable that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) tried to link the two.

The KMT’s stance on the “1992 consensus” has always been that it allows both sides of the Taiwan Strait to have their own interpretation of what “China” means, Wu said.

“In other words, both sides of the Strait are being governed separately, but they are of an inseparable sovereignty,” he said.

However, due to the lack of a consensus, it is impossible for both sides to engage in political negotiations at the moment, Wu said.

“At this stage, whether it is one country, two systems, unification or independence, they would all stir up [tensions in the] Taiwan Strait,” he said, adding that the issue of unification versus independence is just a matter of choice, depending on which one would allow the people to live better lives.

In his speech, Xi defined the “1992 consensus” as “both sides of the [Taiwan] Strait belonging to one China and being willing to work together to seek national unification.”

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

Xi also called for “democratic negotiations” on the future of the Taiwan Strait and the Zhonghua minzu (中華民族, “Chinese ethnic group”) as he announced a plan to explore a Taiwan version of the “one country, two systems” formula for cross-strait unification.

Asked about Taiwan-US-China relations, Wu said that as a global citizen, Taiwan must make friends with every nation.

“There is no such thing as pro-US or pro-China” for the KMT, he said, adding that it was wrong for the Tsai administration to adopt a polarized policy regarding the US and China.

Wu said that the KMT’s policy is to be “amicable to Beijing, friendly to Tokyo and close to the US,” while at the same time seeking to establish friendships with South Korea and European nations.

Being close to the US is of strategic importance, because it has been a stable source of defensive weapons for Taiwan, Wu said, adding that being amicable to China is due to both sides’ “shared bond of kinship,” given that people on both sides of the Strait are descendants of Chinese emperors Yan and Huang.

“Cross-strait exchanges would ensure peaceful development [of cross-strait ties], but while we seek peaceful development of cross-strait relations, we must not ignore national security,” he said.

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