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Apr 1, 2008

Ma and Chen on '92 consensus

Pretty good details in the CNA article here [Chinese]. Chen basically repeated what we all know about the differing positions between the KMT and CCP on this issue; Ma made a breakthrough statement:

馬英九也說,他未來很快要和對方展開很多談判, 從直航、觀光客、經貿、甚至和平協定,都可以測一下 這個說法、基礎(一中各表)是否牢固,「如果對方說 不行,只有一個中國,沒有各自表述,對不起,那我們 不談了,因為無法談。」

Ma Ying-jeou also said that he plans to soon hold discussions over direct flights, tourism, trade and a peace accord [with the Chinese side], which will show the firmness of the "One China, two interpretations" foundation: "If the other side [the 'mainland'] says 'no way,' there is only One China, and no such thing as two interpretations, than I'm sorry, we will not talk with them, because there's no way to talk."
So this is the first time that Ma has effectively admitted some difference between the KMT and CCP positions on just what constitutes the '92 consensus; and it is also the first time Ma has insisted the CCP either not deny "One China, two interpretations" or face the prospect of a not-so China friendly KMT.

Does Ma mean it? Who knows, but I think so. But, notice the lawyer speak: he did not say the Chinese side actually had to agree there's "One China, two interpretations," just that they can't say "no way" and deny its existence.

Does that mean the future '92 consensus will actually be a consensus to ignore the lack of consensus? Or was Ma rather boldly (for him) implying that the CPP must accept "One China, two interpretations" or Ma would not hold discussions?

It's very hard to say what Ma is up to or what he's thinking. In just a few years, he went from a relatively radical unificationist to a self-defined defender of Taiwanese sovereignty promising not to sell out the island. Perhaps he has convinced himself he can accomplish both goals; perhaps one position or the other is really political posturing. I guess we have few options but to wait and see.

Again, though, regardless of whether the '92 consensus is "One China, two interpretations" or "One China" alone, the concept that Taiwan and China are both part of the same country is absurd on the face of it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As I mentioned in another comment that went more extensively into the history of the KMT, I believe your use of unification is misconstruing the meaning of the KMT agenda. The plan of reunification was under the Republic of China, not the People's Republic of China. As Ma Ying Jeou is a pragmatist and has the future of Taiwan ROC in mind, he is trying to establish a connection with the PRC so that Taiwan ROC can actually take part in the international economy and community. This is absolutely necessary for Taiwan ROC's domestic trade and economic structure depends heavily on foreign investments and interaction on an international level. The current state is not acknowledged by the world with the exception of 10-20 countries. The rest of the countries can trade with Taiwan ROC, but at the emergence of a possible ultimatum from the PRC, that could effectively paralyze Taiwan ROC's economy.

It frustrates me to no end when people associate the KMT and Ma Ying Jeou to "selling out Taiwan ROC" or "Pro China" because that isn't the case. These steps are ultimately to ensure that Taiwan ROC will retain a separate and independent democratic government and a once-again thriving economy.