Opposition parties back Tsai's stance on 'one country, two systems'

01/05/2019 10:30 PM
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Image taken from President Tsai Ing-wen
Image taken from President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) Facebook page.

Taipei, Jan. 5 (CNA) Three opposition parties -- the People First Party (PFP), the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) and the New Power Party (NPP) -- voiced support Saturday for President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)'s stance against the "one country, two systems" formula devised by China.

The PFP said the "one county, two systems" formula is not acceptable to the people of Taiwan as it will leave no room for Taiwan to maintain the status quo.

In their statements, the TSU and the NPP called for unity among the people of Taiwan against the pressure imposed by China.

The statements by the three parties followed a call by Tsai earlier in the day for all political parties in Taiwan to reject the "one country, two systems" formula and thus send a clear message to China, based on the wishes of the Taiwan people.

"Do not mention the '1992 consensus' again since that phrase has been defined by China as the 'one country, two systems' mechanism, which has left no flexibility for interpretation," Tsai said at a press conference with foreign correspondents in Taipei.

On Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) said a speech commemorating the 40th anniversary of the "Message to Compatriots in Taiwan" that China must be reunified.

In the speech, he defined the "1992 consensus" as "the two sides of the strait belonging to one China and working together to seek the unification of the nation" and said the "one country, two systems" formula is the best approach to achieving reunification.

PFP's caucus leader Chen Yi-chieh (陳怡潔) told CNA that in the past, the 1992 consensus provided flexibility for the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to make exchanges under the status quo.

"Now, the 1992 consensus in Xi's mind refers to the 'one county, two systems' formula, which is not acceptable to people in Taiwan so there is no consensus between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait," Chen said.

She said while Tsai has rejected the "one county, two systems" formula, exchanges between Taiwan and China remain necessary so in addition to seeking support from the international community, the president should also come up with measures to start dialogue with Beijing.

Since Tsai took office in May 2016, Chinese authorities have halted official communication with Taipei because she declined to recognize the "1992 consensus."

The "1992 consensus" refers to a tacit agreement reached in 1992 between the then Kuomintang (KMT) government of Taiwan and Chinese communist officials. The agreement has been consistently interpreted by the China-friendly KMT to mean that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is only "one China," with each side free to interpret what "China" means.

However, Beijing has never publicly voiced support for the second part of the KMT interpretation.

NPP spokesperson Lee Chao-li (李兆立) said Saturday that his party has never recognized the 1992 consensus.

"Xi's speech exposed a big lie by the KMT, since Taiwan and China never reached any such consensus," Lee said. "The NPP is calling on the KMT to withdraw the lie. The people of Taiwan need to be united in the face of the military threats from China."

In his speech, Xi said China was making no promise to renounce the use of force and reserved the option of taking all necessary means to serve that end, while Beijing continues to seek peaceful reunification.

In response to Tsai's call for rejection of China's "one country, two systems" formula, TSU Chairman Liu Yi-teh (劉一德) urged solidarity in Taiwan and praised Tsai for sending a clear message and hardening her stance against China.

Meanwhile, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy Vice President Yan Jiann-fa (顏建發) urged Taiwan's political parties not to talk with Beijing on their own as such talks could pose a danger to a democratic Taiwan.

He was commenting on Xi's statement that China is willing to talk with any party in Taiwan to push forward the political process as long as the party accepts the "one China principle."

Meanwhile, KMT spokesman Ouyang Long (歐陽龍) told CNA that whether or not the KMT is in power, it sees the "1992 consensus" as a foundation for dialogue between Taiwan and China.

However, the "one country, two systems" formula is unacceptable to most people in Taiwan so the KMT will not recognize such a system, he said.

(By Fan Cheng-hsiang, Yeh Su-ping, Miu Tsung-han and Frances Huang)


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