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Xi stresses 'one China principle,' '1992 consensus' at CPC congress

2017/10/18 11:27:34

Taipei, Oct. 18 (CNA) Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) stressed Beijing's intent to safeguard its "one China principle" and the "1992 consensus" at the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Wednesday.

China has firmly opposed and prevented Taiwan independence over the past five years and also achieved a historical meeting between leaders of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, said Xi, who is also CPC general secretary, in a speech opening the congress.

Xi and former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) met for the first time in Singapore on Nov. 7, 2015, marking the first-ever meeting between the top leaders of Taiwan and China.

China will appropriately deal with changes in Taiwan's situation and will spare no effort to oppose the Taiwan independence movement and maintain peace and stability across the strait, Xi reiterated.

The 19th Party Congress is seen as the most significant political gathering in China since Xi came to power in 2012, and his remarks on cross-strait relations will serve as an important indicator of Beijing's policy toward Taiwan.

The 1992 consensus, a tacit agreement reached between Beijing and Taiwan's Kuomintang administration in 1992, served as the political foundation for relations between Taipei and Beijing during the Ma administration from 2008 to 2016.

The consensus is that there is only "one China," with each side of the strait free to interpret what "one China" means.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who took office in May 2016, and her Democratic Progressive Party argues that a consensus was never reached and generally rejects it because it implies that Taiwan is a part of China.

Because of that stance and Tsai's pivot to Southeast Asia, Beijing has halted official contacts with Taipei since Tsai took office, and overall cross-strait relations have turned cold.

Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德), who assumed office in September 2017, may have added to the impasse when he described himself as a pragmatic supporter of Taiwan independence in his first report to the Legislative Yuan in late September. (Flor Wang)

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