The “1992 consensus” serves as the one and only key for solid exchanges between Taiwan and China, Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation reemphasized yesterday.
The foundation rejected the remark a day earlier made by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen, who said cross-Taiwan Strait relations will move forward if she is elected.
Tsai, whose party denies the existence of the “1992 consensus” -- under which the two sides of the strait agree that there is only one China, with each side free to interpret the meaning of “one China” -- said that under a “Taiwan consensus” she has proposed as a democratic mechanism in which different opinions can be fully presented and evaluated, new dialogue with China will take place to improve mutual ties.
At a year-end press conference yesterday, SEF Vice Chairman Kao Koong-lian blasted her idea as “empty” and a “blank check” that could eliminate the mutual trust nurtured by the Ma administration between Taiwan and China.
“Tsai should be very careful because her agenda will have an impact on not only internal affairs but also on the global community,” Kao said. “A responsible political party should not risk people’s wellbeing with unclear policies,” he added.
Instead, he said, the “1992 consensus” is the only way to maintain peace and current exchanges.
“You can call the consensus an ‘understanding,’ or a ‘tacit understanding,’” he said. “Like it or not, it’s a historical fact and no improvement in cross-strait relations will be made without acknowledging it.”
The most important significance of the “1992 consensus” is that it allows discussion about political controversies to be shelved, Kao said.
“It came into being because Taiwan does not accept the mainland’s ‘one China’ principle,” he added.