Cross-strait relations are worse today than under former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration, former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) said on Tuesday.
Su, who also served as National Security Council secretary-general during former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) first term and is now chairman of the Taipei Forum think tank, told a forum in Taipei that cross-strait tensions under President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) are more strained than during the Chen years, due to the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) weakness.
During the Chen administration, the KMT acted as a counterbalance to the independence-leaning DPP, he said.
However, today’s weaker KMT has been unable to serve the same purpose, which could lead to deteriorating cross-strait ties, he said.
Relations between Taiwan and China can be described as the “three noes”: no trust, no communication and no buffer, he said.
While there has been concern over Tsai’s stance on the so-called “1992 consensus,” the term is not “that important,” he said, adding that “mutual trust” was the bigger issue in relations between the two sides.
The “1992 consensus” refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and Beijing that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
Su in 2006 said that he had made up the term in 2000 before Chen took office.
Although the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had the “1992 consensus” as a bridge, the key to better ties was the period from 2000 to 2005 that the two parties spent gradually establishing mutual trust, Su said.
The lack of a bridge of communication between the DPP government and the CCP reflects the lack of mutual trust, Su said.
Ties have cooled since Tsai took office on May 20 last year, mainly due to her refusal to heed Beijing’s calls to recognize the “1992 consensus” as the sole political foundation for cross-strait exchanges.
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