Mon, Jun 17, 2019 - Page 3 News List

KMT’s Tseng, Chinese official urge closer ties

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Tseng Yung-chuan, left, and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Chairman Wang Yang attend the Straits Forum in Xiamen, China, yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Chairman Wang Yang (汪洋) yesterday called for increased cross-strait collaborations based on the so-called “1992 consensus” and opposition to Taiwanese independence.

In the opening speech at the 11th Straits Forum in China’s Xiamen, Wang, who is also on the Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) politburo, said that “China’s sovereignty and territory have never been severed,” adding: “Nothing has ever changed the legal fact and history that both sides of the [Taiwan] Strait belong to ‘one China.’”

People on both sides of the Strait have always longed for an end to cross-strait political opposition and desired national unification, he said.

“The nation must be unified and will definitely be unified,” he added.

Based on the conditions of the “1992 consensus” and opposition to Taiwanese independence, “we are willing to have in-depth discussions with political parties, organizations and people in Taiwan on a broad range of subjects, so that we can find common ground, build consensus and gradually move toward the goal of a peaceful unification,” Wang said.

He also called on Taiwanese to build a mutually complementary economy with China, instead of seeking economic collaboration with other countries.

Tseng, who led a 15-member KMT delegation to the event, accused President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration of trying to malign the “1992 consensus,” interfering with cross-strait exchanges and promoting sensationalism over related issues.

Through last year’s nine-in-one elections, Taiwanese have expressed their desire for stable cross-strait relations free of interference based on political ideologies, he said.

The “1992 consensus” helps ensure cross-strait peace and stability like a ballast stone, and “should definitely be cherished and insisted upon,” Tseng added.

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 Chinese government that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge that there is only “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

To improve cross-strait exchanges, Tseng urged China to consistently carry out the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement signed in 2010, as well as the mechanisms for purchasing Taiwan’s surplus agricultural products.

Tseng expressed hope that authorities would maintain the number of Chinese students and tourists visiting Taiwan at a certain level to deepen “this most direct and sincere form of [cross-strait] exchanges.”

The KMT “will work to promote cross-strait exchanges and maintain peace across the Strait based on the foundation of the ‘1992 consensus’ and opposing Taiwanese independence,” he said.

Before the forum, Wang told Tseng in a meeting that Taiwanese authorities have been trying to block cross-strait economic and civic exchanges due to next year’s legislative and presidential elections.

However, despite the interference, more than 10,000 Taiwanese have attended the event, the highest number ever, he said.

Tseng said that as the elections near, the “1992 consensus” is likely to be reviewed and challenged.

“As a result, the KMT and the CCP must be prepared for difficult challenges in the next six months,” he said.

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