'1992 consensus' no longer useful: Han Kuo-yu chief adviser

07/30/2019 07:19 PM
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Han Kuo-yu
Han Kuo-yu's (韓國瑜/CNA file photo)

Taipei, July 30 (CNA) Former Premier Chang San-cheng (張善政) has suggested that the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) stop using the term "1992 consensus," which he said should be changed into something that he claimed is "more neutral," such as "constitutional one China, Taiwan first."

Chang, a blue-leaning independent who announced his presidency bid in the 2020 election in February, confirmed during a radio interview Tuesday that he has accepted KMT presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu's (韓國瑜) invitation to serve as convener of Han's team of national policy advisers.

He has not publicly renounced the bid, but the confirmation suggests that his position in the presidential race will be a policy planner for Han, the Kaohsiung mayor who the KMT formally nominated Sunday to be its presidential candidate.

Asked what policy advice he will give to Han, the 65-year-old Chang, who served as premier, vice premier and minister of technology in the administration of former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), said he will first propose a cross-Taiwan Strait policy and policies that are perceptible and beneficial to young people.

In term of cross-strait relations, Chang said the KMT has advocated the "1992 consensus" and "one China, different interpretations."

However, "everyone now knows the other side no longer accepts (the concept of) "one China, different interpretations," he said, therefore people cannot continue to adhere to the "1992 consensus" and "one China, different interpretations" together.

Moreover, the term "1992 consensus" has been stigmatized as equivalent to Beijing's "one China, two systems" formula. Although the "1992 consensus" had its use in the past, it is no longer fit for use, Chang contended.

"The term should be revised into 'constitutional one China, Taiwan first.' Since the other side of the strait wants 'one China' and does not accept 'different interpretations,' and the Republic of China Constitution says 'one China,' then 'constitutional one China' it is," Chang said, without elaborating.

Chang's interpretation of the ROC Constitution as saying 'one China' echoes Ma's interpretation of it.

In 2008, Ma told the Liberty Times in an interview that the territory of the ROC "according to its existing national boundaries" also includes mainland China, coining the concept "constitutional one China."

However, the current Constitution does not specify the territory of the Republic of China, and does not mention the term 'one China,' leaving room for debate.

Even though Chang recommends the concept "constitutional one China," he also notes that the principles of cross-strait exchanges should be "Taiwan first."

"If Han Kuo-yu wishes to be a different KMT member, he must end the use of '1992 consensus,'" according to Chang.

As for the policies aimed at improving the lives of young people, the presidential candidate's policy adviser advised the promotion of the development of the digital technology sectors, which he said employ most of the nation's young people.

Chang also suggested that residences for young people should be built close to locations that make it easy for people to go to school and work.

"Jobs, wages and living environment" are what young people care about the most, he said, touting Han as the person who can address the issues better than President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

The "1992 consensus" is a tacit understanding reached in 1992 between the then-KMT government of Taiwan and the Chinese Communist government.

The consensus has been consistently interpreted by the KMT as both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledging that there is only "one China," with each side free to interpret what that means. Tsai of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party has rejected it since taking power in May 2016, leading Beijing to call a halt to cross-strait dialogue.

(By Yu Hsiang and Elizabeth Hsu)


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