Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) yesterday lashed out at Taipei mayor-elect Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) for saying that the “1992 consensus” is outdated and that new ideas are needed to conduct cross-strait exchanges.
Ko made the remarks during an interview published on Tuesday by the Central News Agency in which he proposed replacing the “1992 consensus” with the “four mutuals” — mutual knowledge, mutual understanding, mutual respect and mutual cooperation.
Wang responded that the “1992 consensus” is an essential and practical part of cross-strait exchanges, adding that Ko should learn more about the matter before commenting on it.
Photo: Chen Ping-hung, Taipei Times
“As a mayor[-elect] of a local government, Ko does not have to make remarks on cross-strait exchanges, but if he really wishes to comment on this, he should first take an in-depth look into the backdrop against which the ‘1992 consensus’ was created and at its effect on cross-strait exchanges today,” Wang said.
The “consensus” refers to an alleged tacit agreement reached in 1992 that both Taiwan and China belong to one China, with each side having their own interpretation of what “one China” means.
Although the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government claimed that the consensus was agreed upon during the first cross-strait conference in Singapore in 1992, former MAC minister Su Chi (蘇起), who was involved in the 1992 meeting, later said he made up the term.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
Wang yesterday said that the “1992 consensus” is certainly “ambiguous,” but it is that ambiguity which gives Taiwan and China a buffer zone when dealing with politically sensitive issues.
“I would say that it is because of the ‘1992 consensus’ that cross-strait relations have been able to progress so much since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office in 2008. We can see how bad things got during the Democratic Progressive Party administration, when the government refused to recognize the ‘consensus,’” Wang said.
Responding to Wang’s remarks, Ko said the “1992 consensus” has been around for 22 years and yet cross-strait relations are still unclear.
“We need some new ideas in dealing with cross-strait relations,” he said.
However, Ko added that, as a mayor, he has no authority to deal with cross-strait issues, but had been “merely making the remarks [in the interview] as a citizen of the nation, so if Wang thinks he is better at that, he can deal with cross-strait exchanges however he wants.”
TAIPEI REACTIONS: Joanne Ou decried China’s ‘gangster diplomacy,’ while MOFA said its Fiji counterpart dealt fairly with the incident and protected the trade office’s rights The world should denounce the actions of Chinese embassy staffers in Fiji against a Taiwanese diplomat during a National Day celebration in Suva, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday as it thanked the Fijian government for its help after the Oct. 8 incident. Two Chinese diplomats tried to force their way into a celebration held by the Taipei Trade Office in Fiji at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on Oct. 8, and a Taiwanese diplomat who tried to stop them taking photographs suffered a head injury. MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news briefing that the ministry
The US, Japan and Australia conducted trilateral naval exercises in the South China Sea on Monday, the US Seventh Fleet announced yesterday. It was their fifth joint operations this year in the fleet’s area of operations, it said in a statement. The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain joined the JS Kirisame of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Arunta. The Arunta’s commanding officer, Commander Troy Duggan, said that Australia was continuing to build on its already close relationship with Japan and the US. “This activity is a valuable and important opportunity for all three nations,”
ONGOING PROBE: A former Military Intelligence Bureau colonel, major general and another colonel, as well as five other people, have been questioned by prosecutors The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered that a retired colonel from the Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) calling himself Taiwan’s “first special agent” be detained and held incommunicado as part of an ongoing investigation into espionage allegations targeting at least three former bureau officials. The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office was seeking to detain former MIB colonel Chang Chao-jan (張超然) over his alleged involvement in introducing retired agents to Chinese national security authorities and passing confidential documents to China. Chang’s actions, if proven, would contravene the National Security Act (國家安全法), which carries a prison term of three to 10 years, and the National Intelligence
Seabed waste off the west coast is 1.5 times higher than the global average, with the mouth of the Tamsui River (淡水河) nearly 90 times dirtier, the environmental consultancy IndigoWaters (澄洋環境顧問) said yesterday. The firm in September last year began collaborating with local oceanographers on Taiwan’s first survey of seabed waste off the west coast, collecting 6,000 samples from near the mouths of eight rivers and conducting 215 inspections. Of the samples, 83.3 percent were found to contain trash, the group said. Based on the survey, every square kilometer of seabed had about 121,074 pieces of trash weighing 102kg, IndigoWaters chief executive Yen