“A page in history has already been turned” on the issue of the so-called “1992 consensus” in cross-strait relations, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said yesterday at a legislative committee meeting, when commenting on China’s response to President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inaugural address the previous day.
The “1992 consensus” — a term that former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
In her first inaugural address, on May 20, 2016, Tsai said that she respected the historic fact that a cross-strait meeting in 1992 reached a shared understanding that sought common ground while retaining differences.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
In Wednesday’s address, marking the start of her second term, Tsai reiterated her call for “peace, equality, democracy and dialogue” in relations across the Taiwan Strait, as introduced in her speech following her win in the Jan. 11 presidential election.
She also reiterated her rejection of Beijing’s use of “one country, two systems,” saying that the model was designed to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-strait “status quo.”
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) on Wednesday said that China’s goal of “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan under the “one country, two systems” framework remains unchanged.
However, Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party government has undermined cross-strait relations by refusing to recognize the “1992 consensus,” Ma added.
Commenting on Ma’s statement at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Internal Administration Committee, Chen said that “a page in history has already been turned,” so there is no longer any need to discuss the “1992 consensus” further.
Told by reporters that China appears to have not yet “turned the page,” he said: “We will wait for them to catch up.”
The focus of all nations — including Taiwan and China — is recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Chen said, adding that recovery plans need a “peaceful, stable environment,” which both sides of the Strait have a responsibility to uphold.
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