Wu defends use of ‘1992 consensus’ in cross-strait talks

NO TO MACAU::Mainland Affairs Council Minister Lai Shin-yuan argued that cross-strait negotiations under the ‘Macau Model’ would be a step backwards

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

Sat, May 07, 2011 - Page 3

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday defended the use of the so-called “1992 consensus” as the basis for the development of cross-strait relations, challenging the adoption of the “Macau Model” as proposed by a former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government official, saying it would diminish the nation’s dignity.

The “1992 consensus” is the best policy as Taiwan seeks to promote peaceful cross-strait relations while prioritizing the interests of the people, Wu said.

“With the ‘1992 consensus’ as the basis, we can set aside sensitive disputes over national sovereignty and focus efforts on cross-strait exchanges in economics, culture and tourism,” he said yesterday after attending a fire drill in Taipei City.

The “1992 consensus” refers to a supposed understanding reached during a meeting in Hong Kong in 1992 between Taiwanese and Chinese representatives, under which both sides claim to have acknowledged that there was “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “one China” means.

The DPP insists that the “1992 consensus” does not exist.

In 2006, former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted he made up the term “1992 consensus” in 2000 before the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) handed over power to the DPP.

Wu’s remarks came after former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said in the US on Tuesday that the so-called “1992 consensus” could be dropped as part of cross-strait exchanges should DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) win next year’s presidential election.

The DPP, he said, would replace the “1992 consensus” with the “Macau Model,” which was adopted by former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) administration to initiate talks on cross-strait chartered flights in 2005.

While negotiating on chartered flights and other cross-strait issues, the former DPP government sent officials to negotiate with China in Macau on a non-official basis, rather than engaging in the negotiations via semi-government agencies — the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS).

Wu said the “Macau Model” would diminish the nation’s dignity and that it should not be acceptable, even for the DPP.

Mainland Affairs Council Minister Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) also dismissed Joseph Wu’s comments, arguing that cross-strait negotiations under the “Macau Model,” which would be conducted by non-governmental groups on an issue-to-issue basis, would be a step backwards from the systematic negotiations held by the SEF and ARATS.