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Aug 18, 2011

Fire away

Tang Fei is not a fan of Tsai Ing-wen's cross-strait policy as he understands it, claiming that without recognition of the '92 consensus, there is no way to get along. Expect more of this from the blue side as the election approaches.

But I was much more interested in the Ma campaign spokesman Yin Wei (殷瑋) claiming that "according to media" (unnamed, of course), on June 29th 2000, Tsai said "the new government can accept that 'One China, two interpretations' is a consensus reached between ARATS and the SEF, that this is a clearer phrasing [of the DPP government's position]." But now Tsai denies the consensus. What gives, woman? they seem to be saying.

So I had to figure out what was really going on here.

The article can be found in this KMT think tank National Policy Foundation report [pdf]. It's taken from the China Times (the report is strongly self-filtered for pro-blue media). Actually the whole pdf is worth a read, especially the section this comes from, which is a chronological history of related newspaper articles. The sentiment Tsai really expressed that day, in full:
陳水扁總統廿七日提到新政府願意接受兩岸兩會對「一個中國、各自表述」的會談共識,這是對九二年共識「更明確、更進一步的說法」,但所謂「一個中國、各自表述」,只是我方描述會談過程的用語,這是新政府可以接受的描述方式,並不代 表 我 方 已 接 受 北 京 的 「 一 個 中 國 原 則」。 
一九九二年十月,兩岸所派代表在香港舉行會談時,雙方曾針對如何解決「一個中國」問題進行具體討論,但無法獲致任何結論,因此我方建議以「口頭上各自表述」的方式,暫時擱置此一爭議,中共稍後也致電我方,表示「尊重並接受我方的建議」。這就是對於「一個中國」問題的爭議,兩岸願意以口頭「各自表述」來處理,各說各話最終成為兩岸共識的實際過程。所謂的「一個中國、各自表述」就是我方描述此一過程的用 語 。
And I think the first paragraph is a more complete and compressed version of the whole piece, which appears to be an editorial of Tsai Ing-wen's own writing in the paper.

It says that on the 27th of June, President Chen expressed that the new government can accept that "One China, two interpretations" is a consensus reached between ARATS and the SEF, that this is a clearer phrasing [of the DPP government's position]. But "one China, two interpretations" was how [the Taiwan] side described the language used during the discussion; this is a position that the new government can accept. But it does not mean the Taiwan side accepts Beijing's "One China Principle."

I think that's actually a pretty fair summary of the DPP position. In fact, the DPP should spin this hard in Tsai's favor by having her read the whole article in a TV ad. Perhaps you can start with text that the Ma office's released portion on the screen first, maybe with the Ma campaign's spokesman ranting in false disbelief in the background. Then Tsai could read the whole paragraph out loud, and say a future DPP government would still feel this way -- plainly, that if accepting "one China, two interpretations" doesn't explicitly mean the Taiwan government agrees to Beijing's "One China Principle" [aka, Taiwan is part of the PRC], as long as we don't mean that, the DPP can accept it.

It's genius, if I do say so myself! I'd like to see what would happen then.


Let's take a quick trip through history as relayed by that NPF report. The SEF responded to Chen's comment promptly, as that NPF paper demonstrates, saying:
The key to resuming dialogue was that the Taiwan side must clearly promise to not meddle with "two countries theory," must recognize the 1992 consensus reached by both sides that "both sides of the strait strongly uphold the One China," and that as soon as these actions were taken, then resumption of dialogue could start immediately.

This is fun, let's keep going with this.

Ma Ying-jiou, 17 September, 2000, China Times:
Ma Ying-jeou said that at the present time, Taiwan and China are both denying the '92 consensus. The mainland only recognizes "One China," and Taiwan only recognizes the "two interpretations." But at this moment, if everyone would just go back to the "One China" starting point, then talks should be able to resume.

Well, that's some consistency for you.

Lots of interesting things in that report, maybe we'll revisit them someday.


Taiwan Echo said...

For your collection:

Su Chi admits the `1992 consensus' was made up


"Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Su Chi (蘇起) yesterday admitted that he made up the term "1992 consensus" in 2000"

"Su said he made up the term "1992 consensus" as a replacement for the expression "each side with its own interpretation" in order to benefit cross-strait development."

When asked by reporters for a response yesterday, Su said he did invent the term, which was meant to encourage observers to think that "each side has its own interpretation on the meaning of `one China.'"

That is, he made up a term "1992 consensus" to describe a meeting of no consensus.

In his article that was used as an introduction to a book (published 2002, probably the one you are talking about) to promote the "1992 consensus", Su Chi wrote,


At first, China Communist didn't deny it (the "One China, different interpretations"). After Lee DH visited Cornell and the 1996 cross-trait missile crisis, China Communist denied it the first time, blaming us violate the One China Principle.

What Su Chi said in his own words here:

1. China considered "One China, different interpretations" is a violation of One China Principle.

2. China never accepted it;

Therefore, in his own words, he made it very clear that there's no consensus exists. The "1992 consensus" is nothing but a lie made up by no one else but himself.

One thing we have to be clear is: "One China, different interpretations" is NOT the same as "1992 consensus".

"One China, different interpretations" was the position of Taiwan gov, to which China denied. It is a unilateral claim so you can claim the ass out all by yourself without anyone's consensus.

But a "consensus" is bilateral. If there were a "1992 Consenses," China would have accepted it. But China never did.

Therefore, Tsai or CSB may have mentioned "One China, different interpretations" in the past, but that is totally irrevelent, because even if that exists, it is still a unilateral claim and nothing to do with any consensus.

The trick the KMT is playing is: pulling out some words that the CSB gov might have claimed on "One China, different interpretations", and twisted it into "Green gov also accepted the 1992 Consesus", just like the way they twisted an unilateral claim into a consensus.

Little Dog said...

it is indeed totally irrelevant, we are playing words. both sides had taken what it needed in the part of a "phrase" to satisfy their domestic markets. the consensus, whether you like it or not, it is the basis that guides the relationship now, it is more than a description. i do not see what tsai is looking to achieve by negating this guidance. both sides live in an impossible situation, two decades ago, chinese were too busy trying to build themselves up that they would rather delay the taiwan issue when taiwanese held an advantage but knew time was against them. to date, we see a much stronger china whose confidence is so bloated that it got stuck with taiwanese situation which it wishes not to resolve for a different reason, the pride of a powerful nation, (economically, i sat right next to a chinese business owner from singapore to hong kong and who spent 2 hours complaining to me how his government had been giving preferrential treatments to taiwanese, a view echoed by my local tour guide in beijing!). i do not believe chinese will ever resort to military means to resolve the taiwan situation, but they will be more than happy to conveniently butt out from all their "committment" to us if new situation unfolds, after all, they do have a world to conquer! so what was tsai looking for, a revamp of china taiwan relationship? she underestimates the intellingence people here. be a "consensus" or description, it is something taken by taiwanese in general externally as a shield (taiwan practicalism). does she now want to turn that into internal as a domestic agenda? if it is the case, we need to know what her plan is in the new landscape? joseph wu at least proposed "maccao model"? is that what she wants? we still do not see contingent plan in probably the biggest issue confronting her. instead, we only have cryptic and petite mutterings!! she needs to be more specific...

Taiwan Echo said...

This article in the KMT's website (published 2011.5.17) talks about the "92 Consensus".

Its main point is: Beijing has made changes in recent years, switching her position slowly from "One China Policy" to "One China, different interpretations" :

But until recently they have never said that "The essence of the 1992 Consensus is seeking common ground and shelving the differences." Now however, they are. Now, Beijing is saying that "The essence of the 1992 Consensus is seeking common ground and shelving the differences." Since Taipei has long maintained that the 1992 Consensus means One China, Different Interpretations, the two sides have narrowed the gap separating them considerably.

If Beijing's recent switch of position is toward the "92 Consensus," it means Beijing never want to talk about "One China different interpretations" until recently. Otherwise Beijing didn't have to switch.

What the article said undeniably is that there wasn't a consensus back in 1992.

This makes this article (as well as KMT's trick) more rediculous --- they use Beijing's moving away from "no consensus in 1992" to prove that Beijing and Taiwan had a consensus in 1992.

Taiwan Echo said...

Found a news report back in 2000/6/29, which talked about that Tsai Ing-wen clarified that there was no consensus in 1992, and that China's position had always been clear -- the only thing they could accept was the One China Principle.

In the news report you cited, Ma campaign spokesman Yin Wei (殷瑋) said that in 2000 Tsai agreed to the 1992 Consensus. It is obviously another twist from the KMT.









Taiwan Echo said...

In my article posted on January this year,
九二共識的陷阱, I observed that the KMT asking Tsai "do you accepted the 92 Consensus" repeatedly was a setup to trick Tsai to admit that there WAS a 92 Consensus. After all, something has to be existed for you to un-accept it. So no matter Tsai answer "accept" or "not accept", she would fall into the KMT trap.

But Tsai knew it all too well -- the 92 Consensus was a made-up, so there's nothing to deny.

What we are seeing now is the KMT's next trick: fabricating that Tsai accepted it before.