DPP is duty-bound to establish official communications with China: Su Chi

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, Sep 27, 2017 - Page 3

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has a duty to establish official communications between Taiwan and China, former National Security Council (NSC) secretary-general Su Chi (蘇起) said on Sunday.

Su told an academic seminar that the DPP and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) hold diametrically opposing views about the so-called “1992 consensus,” which Beijing considers to be the political foundation for official exchanges between Taiwan and China and has cited as a reason for breaking off exchanges with the DPP government.

The “1992 consensus” — a term Su admitted in 2006 to making up in 2000 when he was head of the Mainland Affairs Council — refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and Chinese government that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

The DPP denies its existence, although it acknowledges there were talks that year between the two governments and both sides did reach some agreements, none of which include an agreement by Taiwan that it is part of China.

By saying no to such a critical foundation for exchange, Su said that the DPP will never be able to talk to China and must explain to Taiwanese why it is unable to do so.

The KMT’s position on the “1992 consensus” is “yes, but” — yes, there is only one China, but each side retains the right to interpret what “one China” means, Su said.

Beijing says that since there is no written agreement between the two on the meaning of “one China” or leeway to interpret its meaning, it focuses on the “one China” part, Su added.

The KMT, which was the ruling party at the time, understands that the consensus is an agreement on “one China” and a “tacit understanding” that Taiwan can interpret that one China to be the Republic of China (ROC), he said.

To clarify confusion over the results of the 1992 talks in Hong Kong, Su said he later came up with the term “1992 consensus” to refer to a “one China” agreement, even though he knows that most nations recognize the People’s Republic of China as China, not the ROC or Taiwan.

Su said he believes that if the DPP simply recognizes the murkiness of the”one China” concept in the “1992 consensus” by accepting the existence of the consensus while maintaining its disagreement with the “one China” part, then that would probably satisfy everyone.

This is similar to the KMT’s “yes, but” stance, he added.

He never expected that the CCP would come to embrace the “1992 consensus” while the DPP would not, Su said, adding that no matter what, it is up to the DPP as the ruling party to try to establish communications with China.

“That is the DPP government’s duty,” he said.

Fellow former NSC secretary-general Chen Chung-hsin (陳忠信) said that the political implications of “one China” places Taiwan at a great disadvantage.

Taiwan has not asked China: “What is Taiwan in your ‘one China’ principle?” the former DPP lawmaker and official said.

“This is a key question to which all Taiwanese should seek an answer and on which they had better reach a consensus,” he added.

Based on this argument, Chen said that he does not accept Su’s assertion that it is the DPP’s duty to build a bridge of communication with China.