Mon, Feb 18, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Wang vows to address cross-strait impasse

PRESIDENTIAL BID:The ‘1992 consensus’ is only a phrase, but it gives China the chance to save ‘face’ and Taiwan more space to maneuver, the former legislative speaker said

By Chen Yun and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wang Jin-pyng, center, sings with supporters at National Tainan First Senior High School on Saturday.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) on Saturday said that his intent to run for president was motivated by the poor state of cross-strait relations.

Wang made the remarks during a speech to supporters at a reunion at National Tainan First Senior High School, where he said that he “would not run in an election at my age if Taiwan did not need help.”

After beating around the bush for months, Wang, 77, on Wednesday last week said that he would launch a presidential bid next month.

On Saturday, Wang, who was the legislative speaker from 1999 to 2016, staunchly rejected criticism that he is secretly a pan-green supporter.

Wang said he is “for the KMT and for Taiwan,” and even though he is Taiwanese, he could not reject his ethnic-Chinese “soul.”

“The current state of cross-strait relations is not peaceful. It is nothing like during [former president] Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration, when we had cooperative exchanges and room for discourse,” he said.

Pressure from China to unify is mounting, but neither unification nor official independence can easily be achieved, Wang said, adding that peace could not be maintained without President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) acknowledging the “1992 consensus.”

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 there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

The lack of exchanges between Taiwan and China has harmed the public, Wang said, adding that it is his urgent public duty to mend and rebuild the cross-strait relationship.

The “1992 consensus” is just a phrase, but it gives China “face” and gives Taiwan “ambiguous space” to maneuver, he said.

The Democratic Progressive Party’s policies are making Taiwan’s path ever narrower and the US is only acting for its own benefit with regard to Taiwan, he said.

If cross-strait relations were good, the US would not be “so demanding” and Taiwan would have more space to assert its own position, he added.

“Taiwan would not need to do as the US wishes,” he said.

He said he aims to present five demands regarding Taiwan to China “if the two sides agree,” but he would not present the demands in front of the media until there is an agreement “to avoid lots of people giving their views.”

Wang said he had not decided whether he would visit the US to discuss his view.

Such a trip is not a must, as the US regularly sends people to Taiwan to exchange views with him, he said.

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