Ma, Xi agree on upholding '1992 consensus': official (update) - Focus Taiwan

Ma, Xi agree on upholding '1992 consensus': official (update)

Singapore, Nov. 7 (CNA) A consensus to uphold the "1992 consensus" as the political foundation for cross-strait interactions was reached in the meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), a Chinese official said Saturday after the historic meeting in Singapore.

"Both sides believe that they should continue to uphold the '1992 consensus,' consolidate their common political foundation, promote the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, strengthen communication and dialogue, expand cross-strait exchanges, deepen cooperation, and achieve mutual benefits and win-win results, to benefit people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait," said Zhang Zhijun (張志軍), the head of China's Taiwan Affairs Office.

"I believe the above active consensus has great significance in promoting the long-term development of cross-strait relations," Zhang said at a press conference in Singapore after the Ma-Xi meeting that was mostly held behind closed doors.

The broad consensus cited by Zhang, the only consensus that was reached at the meeting, was not new, as the Kuomintang (KMT) administration in Taiwan and China have founded relations on the 1992 consensus since Ma first took office in May 2008.

The "1992 consensus" refers to a tacit agreement reached by Taiwan and China during talks in Hong Kong in 1992, that there is only one China and each side is free to offer its own interpretation as to what that means in practice.

The emphasis on the formula at the meeting, especially by China, may have been directed at the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which is likely to take power in Taiwan in 2016.

The DPP, which considers Taiwan an independent country separate from China, does not recognize the consensus, and its presidential candidate, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), has only agreed to maintain the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.

Clearly sending a message to Tsai, China used the press conference after the meeting to draw a clear line against Taiwan independence, with Zhang citing Xi as saying that without the two side's "common political foundation" to uphold the "1992 consensus" and oppose Taiwan independence, the peaceful development of cross-strait relations will "encounter surging waves, or even completely capsize."

In the meeting, Xi said the mainland and Taiwan both belong to "one China," and cross-strait relations is not a "country-to-country" relation, nor a "one China, one Taiwan" relation, Zhang said.

Xi stressed that he hoped all political parties and groups in Taiwan can recognize the "1992 consensus" and said China was willing to interact with these parties and groups, regardless of what their positions were in the past, "as long as they admit the historical fact of the '1992 consensus' and agree with its core implications," Zhang said.

"The people from both sides of the Taiwan Strait will not agree to any acts of secession. Our will is as solid as a rock and our attitude has remained the same on the principle of safeguarding our national sovereignty and territorial integrity," Zhang cited Xi as saying.

In response to a media question, Zhang said Beijing will not interfere in Taiwan's elections. "We attach greater importance to the future development of cross-strait ties," he said.

During the meeting, Xi also agreed to a proposal by Ma on setting up a hotline between the chiefs of cross-strait affairs in Taiwan and China, saying that he believes such a hotline will help both sides communicate with each other and avoid miscalculations, Zhang said.

On the issue of a Taiwan-China trade-in-goods agreement and establishing representative offices in each other's territory, Xi hoped the two sides could continue the talks and reach consensus soon, Zhang said.

Xi also welcomes Taiwan's participation in the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Zhang said.

(By Hsieh Chia-chen and Christie Chen)ENDITEM/ls

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