The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) must clarify its stance on the so-called “1992 consensus,” former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday, adding that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) definition of the term is different from that of the KMT’s.
Ma made the remarks during an interview with Pop Radio talk show host Huang Kuan-chin (黃光芹) the day after Xi in a speech in Beijing announced a plan to explore the “one country, two systems” formula for Taiwan and said that “national unification” is part of the “1992 consensus.”
While Xi’s view of the “consensus” differs from that of the pan-blue camp, the basic outline remains the same, Ma said.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
Xi’s continued emphasis on unification reflects a personal sense of urgency, as he had in 2013 stated that the issue should not be put off from generation to generation, Ma said.
Xi’s comments were a direct response to President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) “four musts” in her New Year’s address, Ma said, adding that her rhetoric is causing the two sides to drift further apart.
Ma rejected the notion that acknowledging the “1992 consensus” equates to embracing the “one country, two systems” concept, saying that the KMT’s definition has always been a stop-gap prior to unification.
The clause “with each side having its own interpretation of what ‘China’ means” is only an issue prior to unification, and would not be a problem afterward, the former president said.
Ma criticized Tsai for misunderstanding the “consensus” and said that while Taiwan should maintain the “status quo,” it should not be averse to negotiating unification at the right time.
Former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) responded to former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping’s (鄧小平) “one country, two systems” proposal by saying: “A country needs only one good system,” Ma said.
The “1992 consensus” is the most important political foundation for cross-strait relations, Ma added.
He dismissed a question asking if he would hypothetically represent the KMT to respond to Xi’s proposal to “negotiate the ‘two systems’” and declined to comment further.
Ma also called on Tsai’s administration to allow local governments to initiate talks with their Chinese counterparts.
Local governments cannot represent the central government when negotiating policy, Ma said, adding that even when former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) met with then-Chinese president Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) in 2005, they only exchanged visions of the future.
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