Whether Taiwan and China can agree on the “1992 consensus” and the “one China” framework are crucial to the holding of a meeting between the leaders of both sides of the Taiwan Strait, China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Chairman Chen Deming (陳德銘) said yesterday.
Asked by Taiwanese and Hong Kong reporters in Beijing about a proposed meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), Chen said Taiwan’s adherence to those key concepts would be crucial for the Ma-Xi meeting to happen.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) claims that the so-called “1992 consensus” — or “one China, with each China having its own interpretation” — was reached at a cross-strait meeting in 1992. However, former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) chairman Su Chi (蘇起) said in 2000 that he had made the term up.
Asked if the meeting could be held in a “third location,” Chen said he thought it was a good idea, adding that it need not be Hong Kong.
China keeps an open mind about this issue, and Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) has repeatedly said that China and Taiwan do not have to meet on the sidelines of international events, Chen said, in an apparent reference to Taiwan’s proposal that the two leaders meet at an APEC summitthis year
In Taipei, MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said that despite differing opinions, the council believes that APEC is still the ideal place for Ma and Xi to meet.
Wang also sought to downplay a comment made by MAC Deputy Minister Lin Chu-chia (林祖嘉) on Wednesday that if the Ma-Xi talks were to be held at the APEC forum, which Beijing is hosting this year, China could interpret it as a “domestic affair.”
Wang said on-the-spot answers are open to different interpretations, but the council’s stance is clear: APEC is the most ideal location for a Ma-Xi meeting and APEC participants are economic leaders, not heads of state, despite the longstanding practice of sending heads of state to the regional forum.