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Ma reiterates '1992 consensus' vital to cross-strait relations

Taipei, May 14 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou (???) said Thursday that the "1992 consensus" has been the key to peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait over the past 23 years and will remain crucial to maintaining peace and stability in cross-strait relations. In his opening remarks at a seminar on the past, present and future in terms of cross-strait relations, Ma said that although some people have brought forth other proposals for establishing a new foundation for cross-strait interaction, none of them have found consensus within Taiwanese society and have failed to win recognition from China. Currently, the 1992 consensus has received the most support from the two sides of the strait, he added. Public opinion polls conducted by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC, ???), Taiwan's top China policy planner, have revealed that maintaining the status quo is the mainstream public opinion in Taiwan, the president went on, adding that maintaining the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the Republic of China Constitution is also the centerpiece of the government's China policy. Ma said that the foundation of maintaining the status quo lies in the 1992 consensus. Based on the foundation, the government has fostered friendly relations with mainland China that have brought about mutual gain and mutual prosperity for both sides. Based on the 1992 consensus, Taiwan has reaped the benefits of enhanced homeland security and increasing economic and trade engagements with mainaland China and other countries. Improvements in cross-strait ties have also helped Taiwan expand its international participation, Ma said, adding that Taiwan has attended the World Health Assembly (WHA) as an observer for six consecutive years. It also attended the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly as a "guest" in September 2013. The peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations has also gained recognition from the international community, and the leaders of many countries believe the government's mainland China policy is helping to foster peace in the Taiwan Strait, which they said is key to regional peace. Ma also reaffirmed the existence of the 1992 consensus, citing three historic documents as proof. One of the documents is the minutes of a meeting of the National Unification Council Aug. 1, 1992 signed by then-President Lee Teng-hui. A resolution was reached at the meeting that the two sides of the strait, while adhering to the "one China" principle, are free to interpret what "one China" means, according to Ma. Based on the resolution, delegates from Taiwan's semi-official Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF, ??????) met with their counterparts from China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS, ????????) in Hong Kong in late October that same year on the "one China" issue, with each side submitting five proposals, although no conclusion was reached, the president said. However, letters exchanged between the SEF and the ARATS later showed that the two sides agreed to have each side "release an oral statement setting out its own interpretation of the 'one China' principle," Ma said. The third document is related to a phone conversation between Hu Jintao (???), then-general secretary of the Communist Party of China, and former U.S. President George W. Bush. According to a news release issued by the Xinhua news agency in March 2008, Hu said "it is China's consistent stance that the Chinese mainland and Taiwan should restore consultations and talks on the basis of 'the 1992 consensus,' which sees both sides recognize that there is only one China, but agree to differ on its definition." (By Chou Yi-ling and Evelyn Kao)

Updated : 2021-09-21 05:11 GMT+08:00