Tai­wan leader hedges on Con­sen­sus

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By CAO YIN caoyin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A Chi­nese main­land of­fi­cial urged Tai­wan to ad­here to the one-China prin­ci­ple and ac­cept the 1992 Con­sen­sus, in re­sponse to a re­cent in­ter­view by overseas me­dia of the is­land’s newleader.

Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the State Coun­cil’s Tai­wan Af­fairs Of­fice, said on Fri­day that the 1992 Con­sen­sus is the po­lit­i­cal foun­da­tion for peace­ful cross-Straits ties.

The re­marks fol­lowed the pub­li­ca­tion of an in­ter­view with Tai­wan’s leader Tsai Ing­wen in The Washington Post on Thurs­day.

Asked whether the main­land has a dead­line by which the Chi­nese cen­tral govern­ment wants her to agree to the 1992 Con­sen­sus, Tsai said it’s un­likely that Tai­wan will ac­cept a dead­line for con­di­tions that are against the will of the peo­ple.

Tai­wan me­dia or­ga­ni­za­tions said it was the first time that Tsai had in any­way clar­i­fied her stance on the issue since she took of­fice.

In his state­ment on Fri­day, Ma re­it­er­ated that only by stick­ing to the 1992 Con­sen­sus and its core mean­ing — that both sides of the Tai­wan Straits be­long to one and the same China — can the two sides en­sure the peace­ful and sta­ble de­vel­op­ment of cross- Straits re­la­tions.

“Main­stream pub­lic opin­ion on both sides of the Tai­wan Straits sup­ports main­tain­ing peace­ful ties,” he said.

“Only by rec­og­niz­ing this po­lit­i­cal foun­da­tion, which em­bod­ies the one-China pol­icy”, can in­sti­tu­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tion con­tinue be­tween the two sides, he said, point­ing specif­i­cally to the li­ai­son and com­mu­ni­ca­tion mech­a­nism be­tween the Tai­wan Af­fairs Of­fice and Tai­wan’s main­land af­fairs author­ity, and the con­sul­ta­tion and ne­go­ti­a­tion mech­a­nism be­tween the Bei­jing-based As­so­ci­a­tion for Re­la­tions Across the Tai­wan Straits and the Taipei-based Straits Ex­change Foun­da­tion.

Liu Xiang­ping, head of the In­sti­tute of Tai­wan Stud­ies at Nan­jingUniver­sity, saidT­sai’s at­ti­tude to­ward the 1992 Con­sen­sus in the in­ter­view will in­flame ten­sions with the main­land. He said Tsai’s state­ments will fur­ther dis­tance the two sides and may ham­per cross-Straits eco­nomic ties.

The main­land will con­tinue to ob­serve Tsai’s be­hav­ior and words, but with stricter stan­dards — “which means that the space for flex­i­bil­ity is di­min­ish­ing”, Liu said. Xin­hua con­trib­uted to this story.

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