Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday called on critics of the so-called “1992 consensus” to propose a feasible alternative, and urged Beijing to accept the “complete” version of the “consensus” if it is to advocate it.
Recently, the “1992 consensus” has been a popular topic within the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), Ma said, calling the discussion a “healthy sign” of the party’s willingness to reflect.
While many people have said they want Beijing to face the reality of the Republic of China’s (ROC) existence, it would be “impossible” for Beijing to “hold a press conference announcing that the Republic of China really exists,” Ma said.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
The “1992 consensus,” a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000, refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
Ma said the “consensus” was the most circumlocutory way of achieving the goal of bringing China to concede the ROC’s existence.
Ma said people who propose changing the “1992 consensus” or oppose it should propose an “equally feasible alternative plan.”
In the meantime, the KMT should work to “de-stigmatize” the “consensus,” he said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) mention of the “1992 consensus” in his speech on Jan. 2 last year was “a bit different from what we usually hear,” Ma said.
His comments in that speech gave President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) an opportunity to say that the “consensus” means “one country, two systems,” he said, adding that they had also had a great impact on the KMT’s performance in the subsequent elections.
The KMT must clarify that the “consensus” does not equal “one country, two systems,” he said.
Ma said that Beijing seems unwilling to accept the “each side having its own interpretation” part of “one China, with each side having its own interpretation,” attacking the provision on numerous occasions.
If the Chinese government is to advocate the “1992 consensus,” it must be the “complete 1992 consensus,” he said, adding that without “each side having its own interpretation,” there was no “one China,” and no “consensus.”
Ma made the remarks at the closing ceremony of a two-day workshop at the KMT Institute of Revolutionary Practice in Taipei.
Ma is a former participant of the workshop — now in its 171st session — as are former vice president Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) and former KMT chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱).
Additional reporting by Shih Hsiao-kuang
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