TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – If the “One China Principle” means destroying the Republic of China, the majority of Taiwanese will find that unacceptable, Premier Lin Chuan (林全) said in an interview with Japan’s Nihon Keizai Shimbun (日本經濟新聞).
The premier was referring to Panama’s June 12 switch in diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China.
Beijing called the change an example of realizing its “One China Principle,” but if that was the case, Lin said, then that means that it wants to obliterate the Republic of China.
In this case, the majority of Taiwanese people would find this “One China Principle” unacceptable, the premier said. Such a stance would also destroy the illusion held by some in Taiwan that it was possible for each side to hold its own interpretation of that principle.
Lin was referring to the so-called “1992 Consensus,” a supposed agreement reached between Taiwanese and Chinese negotiators which allowed both sides to have different interpretations of what “One China” actually means. The consensus has been rejected as inexistent by many, including Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party and former President Lee Teng-hui.
Continued diplomatic relations with the 20 allies still left would be subject to a certain degree of risk and difficulty as long as China persisted in its current attitude toward Taiwan, Lin said.
The premier told the Japanese newspaper that the difficulties in maintaining contacts across the Taiwan Strait after the DPP administration took office in May last year were the reason why China’s attitude had grown more rigid.
Lin said that it was necessary to show Beijing that its tactic of luring away diplomatic allies would not succeed in pressuring mainstream opinion in Taiwan to change. Only then could its attitude change, the premier told the Japanese reporters.