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1992 Consensus is 'sheer nonsense': Taiwan-born UMC founder

Singaporean tycoon Robert Tsao calls for referendum to settle unification issue once and for all

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UMC founder Robert Tsao.

UMC founder Robert Tsao. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The belief that "the island of Taiwan is an inherent part of China" is "sheer nonsense" and does no good to the pursuit of cross-strait peace, according to Robert Tsao (曹興誠), the founder and former chairman of United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) on Wednesday (Dec. 25) at a forum promoting peaceful relations across the Taiwan Strait.

The Taiwan-born Singaporean business tycoon also bluntly criticized the idea of forced unification with Taiwan as well as the "1992 Consensus" mantra embraced by Kuomintang (KMT) politicians, including presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜).

Tsao ridiculed the "1992 Consensus," the term coined by former Taiwanese National Security Council chief Su Chi (蘇起) in 2000 that is tantamount to the "one China, two systems" formula, as both sides of the strait have different interpretations of the term. Tsao asked what the point of it is if the two sides never reach a genuine consensus.

"Anyone who has some knowledge of history would know Taiwan had zero contact with China until the late Ming dynasty, so it's sheer nonsense to say that the island of Taiwan is an inherent part of China," Tsao declared.

The business tycoon openly described the 1992 Consensus as illogical and said acceptance of the formula simply means forgoing Taiwan's sovereignty. Asked about the solution to the cross-strait issue, Tsao called for a referendum in which Taiwanese could decide whether or not to unite with China and say no more.

Tsao relinquished his Taiwanese citizenship and obtained his Singaporean nationality in 2011 when he became upset with the lengthy litigation brought on by allegations of the semiconductor maker's illegal investment in a Chinese company, according to Taipei Times.