Thu, Feb 28, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Reunification key to peace pact: TAO

‘SUGARCOATING’:Rejecting the Chinese office’s statement, the Mainland Affairs Council said that Taiwanese can never accept Beijing’s ‘one country, two systems’

Reuters, BEIJING

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman An Fengshan speaks at a regular news conference in Beijing in an undated photograph.

Photo: CNA

Any proposals from Taiwan for a peace deal with China must include a push for “reunification,” China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) said yesterday, after the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said it could sign one if it wins the presidential election next year.

While China has not broached the idea of a peace deal in years, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said earlier this month that it could sign a peace deal with China if it won the hotly contested election.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said the nation would not accept any deal that destroys its sovereignty and democracy.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), in Beijing’s first official response to the KMT’s peace proposal, said anything that benefits the interests of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should be promoted.

“As long as it benefits protecting the peace of the Taiwan Strait and increasing the peaceful development of relations, and pushes the peaceful reunification process of the motherland, it can be jointly investigated by both sides,” TAO spokesman An Fengshan (安峰山) told a regular news briefing.

China translates the word tongyi (統一) as “reunification,” but it can also be translated as “unification,” a term in English preferred by supporters of Taiwanese independence, who say that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has never ruled Taiwan and so it cannot be “reunified.”

An said that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was seeking to stymie the wish of Taiwanese for peace across the Taiwan Strait, which would only harm the public’s interests and “ruin Taiwan’s prospects and future.”

The DPP suffered stinging losses to the KMT in the local elections on Nov. 24 last year.

Tsai, who says she wants to maintain the “status quo,” has said that China must use peaceful means to resolve its differences with Taiwan and respect Taipei’s democratic values.

The Mainland Affairs Council said that the TAO’s remarks were aimed at “sugarcoating” its “one country, two systems” policy and the peace treaty.

Judging by the CCP’s non-peaceful and undemocratic actions since its founding, its claim that the policy was designed out of goodwill and care for Taiwanese is false, the council said.

The TAO’s remarks reaffirmed that the so-called “1992 consensus” is synonymous with “one country, two systems,” and that a prerequisite for the “consensus” is “unification” with Taiwan, the council said.

The “1992 consensus,” a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000, refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and the CCP that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

Polls conducted by the council suggest that the majority of Taiwanese reject the policy, it said, urging the CCP to undergo reform and democratize, renounce the use of force against Taiwan and remove any conditions it has placed on engaging in dialogue with Taipei.

Only by putting aside differences would the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have a chance of achieving peace, the council said.

Beijing has over the past few years regularly sent military aircraft and ships to circle Taiwan on drills and has heaped pressure on Taipei internationally, including whittling down its few remaining diplomatic allies.

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