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Ex-vice president insists on validity of '1992 consensus'

2017/01/06 20:52:02

Taipei, Jan. 6 (CNA) The consensus of "one China, different interpretations" reached between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait in 1992 cannot be overturned by a political party or individual, former Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said Friday.

Until the governments on either side agree to make a major change, the consensus will remain in place, Wu said during a meeting with a group of scholars from Harvard University's Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, who were interested in the Kuomintang's China policy.

He told the visitors that cross-strait relations were peaceful and stable during the eight years when former President Ma Ying-jeou was in power from 2008 to 2016 mainly because he abided by the consensus and adopted an approach of "no unification, no independence, no use of force."

He stressed that the consensus was not something that could be overturned by a political party or individual.

Asked if the KMT will lose its competitiveness by sticking to the consensus now that people in Taiwan are refusing to accept it, Wu said the "1992 consensus" is a historical fact that no one can erase, noting that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party also promised to "maintain the status quo" during her two presidential campaigns.

That consensus will continue to exist unless the top national leaders of either side agree to scrap it through the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), he said.

The SEF and ARATS are semi-official intermediary bodies set up by Taipei and Beijing respectively to handle cross-strait affairs with the absence of official ties.

Representing their respective governments, negotiators from SEF and ARATS reached a consensus in 1992 that there is only one China, with the two sides free to interpret its meaning.

Unhappy that Tsai's government has refused to accept the "1992 consensus" explicitly, Beijing has suspended official dialogue with Taipei since Tsai was sworn in on May 20.

(By Claudia Liu and Y.F. Low)