While Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) cross-strait policy has recently been put in the spotlight, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) considers itself to have the upper hand in the issue, underscoring its continued adherence to the so-called “1992 consensus.”
While the DPP has settled on its presidential candidate, the KMT is mired in a nebulous situation where not a single party heavyweight has announced an intention to run for president.
However, a source from the pan-blue camp said that as the KMT’s cross-strait standpoint and policies are relatively clear, it would have an advantage over the DPP in being able to “stabilize the cross-strait relationship” without further explanations and clarifications.
The KMT is thus better than the DPP at promoting cross-strait trust and interaction, the source said.
The majority of Taiwanese support positive interactions and peaceful development, but oppose unpredictability between the two sides across the Taiwan Strait, according to the source, who added that many “economic voters” who travel between the two nations would be expected to think rationally.
“Economic voters” is a phrase used to refer to Taiwanese citizens who hold large financial stakes in China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) earlier this month described the “1992 consensus” as “recognizing that the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China,” to which the KMT did not respond directly.
However, KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) said in Hong Kong on March 9 that the KMT’s position on cross-strait relations is “sticking to the ‘1992 consensus.’”
The KMT is a fervent believer in the “consensus,” the source said, adding that it remains the foundation of cross-strait mutual trust.
Following Chu’s identification with the “1992 consensus” as the party’s guideline on cross-strait issues, a KMT party member said that the party can be sure that the future KMT presidential candidate — whoever that might be — would fall in line on this position, and the public would be able to distinguish the two parties by their respective cross-strait policies.
The “1992 consensus” refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party that both Taiwan and China acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what that means.
In 2006, then-KMT lawmaker Su Chi (蘇起) said that he created the term in 2000 when he was Mainland Affairs Council chairman.
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