'Page in history turned' on '1992 consensus' issue: MAC minister

05/21/2020 05:34 PM
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Chen Ming-tong (陳明通)
Chen Ming-tong (陳明通)

Taipei, May 21 (CNA) "A page in history has already been turned" on the issue of the so-called "1992 consensus" in relation to cross- Taiwan Strait affairs, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said Thursday.

Chen, who made the remark on the sidelines of a legislative session, was commenting on China's response to President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) second-term inauguration address the previous day.

In her address, Tsai reiterated her rejection of Beijing's use of "one country, two systems," saying it is designed to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-strait status quo.

Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光), spokesman for Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office, said in response that China's goal of "peaceful reunification" with Taiwan under the "one country, two systems" framework remains unchanged.

In Taiwan, however, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has refused to recognize the "1992 consensus," which has undermined cross-strait relations, Ma said on Wednesday.

The "1992 consensus" was a tacit understanding reached in 1992 between Taiwan's then-Kuomintang (KMT) government and the Chinese government.

The consensus has been consistently interpreted by the KMT as both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledging there is only "one China," with each side free to interpret what "China" means.

However, Beijing has never publicly recognized the second part of the KMT's interpretation.

Commenting on Ma's statement, Chen said that "a page in history has already been turned," so there is therefore no need to discuss the "1992 consensus" issue further.

When reporters said to Chen that it appears that China has not yet turned the page, he replied that "we will wait for them to catch up."

Chen also said that the current focus of the world, including Taiwan and China, is how to recover from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Recovery plans are only possible under a "peaceful and stable environment," an environment that is the responsibility of both sides of the strait to uphold, he said.

Chen was further questioned during the legislative session about Tsai's inauguration address, in which she seemed to imply that the Republic of China has only existed for 70 years rather than 109.

"My fellow citizens, over the past 70 years, the Republic of China (Taiwan) has grown more resilient and unified through countless challenges," Tsai said in her address.

Responding to KMT lawmaker Chen Yu-jen's (陳玉珍) question as to whether the Republic of China has only existed for 70 years, the minister said that Tsai was referring to the fact that the ROC "came to Taiwan 70 years ago."

(By Lai Yen-hsi and Chiang Yi-ching)

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