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There is no '1992 Consensus', Taiwan party leader tells China official

Publication Date : 08-10-2012

 

Taiwan's former premier and senior Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member Frank Hsieh said yesterday that he told China's Taiwan Affairs Office director Wang Yi that there is no such a thing as the “1992 Consensus”.

Hsieh proposed that instead of building ties based on the “1992 Consensus”, China and Taiwan should turn to their respective constitutions and define the cross-strait relationship in their own ways.

On Saturday, Hsieh attended a dinner at Wang's invitation. The meeting with the Communist Party member lasted nearly three hours and was considered a breakthrough for the DPP.

The day before, the former premier also met with China's State Councilor Dai Bingguo for an hour and suggested that the People's Republic of China provide more international space for Taiwan to participate in international, nongovernmental activities.

Chinese media asked Hsieh if he plans to meet Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference chairman Jia Qinglin. The former premier replied that “a meeting with Jia is not on my schedule thus far.”

According to the “1992 Consensus”, both sides recognise there is only one China — which both mainland China and Taiwan belong to — but both sides agree to verbally express the meaning of that one China according to their own individual definitions.

Although the DPP has long supported Taiwan independence, Hsieh said yesterday that he had not been opposed to meeting Wang and that doing so seemed “natural”.

The senior DPP member stated that Wang understood his points and had read his published books. During the meeting, Wang explained the situation in 1992 and the pair exchanged ideas on topics such as democracy and religion, according to Hsieh.

Hsieh said that he and Wang were able to express their different ideas. In the future, both sides may bridge these differences with more prudence.

The former premier went on to say that both sides have to acknowledge the differences between them, but that he and Wang believe in the power of good will to erode the differences.

Meanwhile, DPP chairman Su Tseng-chang weighed in from across the Strait.

Hsieh's visit is personal and he does not represent the DPP, Su said. Therefore, the statements made by Hsieh and his meeting with government officials in China are only personal in nature, according to Su.

Su called Hsieh's remarks personal, but they nevertheless courted controversy among Hsieh's party members. DPP members expressed mixed opinions yesterday.

Former Control Yuan president and DPP senior member Yao Chia-wen said that it is against the position of the DPP for Hsieh to bring up the Constitution since the DPP seeks to revise the Taiwan Constitution.

Former DPP Department of China Affairs director Lai I-chung said that it would be inappropriate for Hsieh to strike up dialogue with the Communist Party in the name of DPP by proposing a new interpretation of the status quo. Lai said Hsieh should wait until the DPP has a consensus about the issue.

Former DPP Legislator Kuo Cheng-liang said that Hsieh's visit will change the DPP because Hsieh has support from several legislators and elsewhere in the party. He said in the future the DPP will have to make its cross-strait position clearer in order to distinguish it from the Kuomintang.

 

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