Schol­ars: Let­ter from Tai­wan isn’t good news

An­nounce­ment failed to men­tion 1992 Con­sen­sus, cast­ing shadow on re­la­tions

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By LUOWANGSHU luowangshu @chi­nadaily.com.cn

The new chief of the Tai­wan-based Straits Ex­change Foun­da­tion took of­fice on Mon­day with no men­tion of the “1992 Con­sen­sus”, show­ing that the island’s ad­min­is­tra­tion is re­luc­tant to pur­sue stronger cross-Straits ties, schol­ars said.

Island leader Tsai Ing-wen’s of­fice an­nounced at theendof Au­gust that Tien Hung-mao would be the new chair­man of the foun­da­tion. But a let­ter from the foun­da­tion to its main­land coun­ter­part, the As­so­ci­a­tion for Re­la­tions Across the Tai­wan Straits, in­form­ing it of Tien’s ap­point­ment, did not men­tion the con­sen­sus, which ac­knowl­edges that the main­land and Tai­wan be­long to one China.

“The main­land has never soft­ened on the con­sen­sus,” said Zhu Songling, di­rec­tor of Bei­jing Union Univer­sity’s In­sti­tute of Cross-Straits Re­la­tions. “The only way to push for­ward com­mu­ni­ca­tion is for Tai­wan to rec­og­nize the one-China prin­ci­ple.”

“Con­nect or halt — it de­pends on Tai­wan’s at­ti­tude,” he said.

Liu Xiang­ping, head of the In­sti­tute of Tai­wan Stud­ies at Nan­jing Univer­sity, said that if Tai­wan does not up­hold the con­sen­sus, a pre­con­di­tion of the main­land for in­creased com­mu­ni­ca­tion, then any pol­icy or mech­a­nism, in­clud­ing the nam­ing of the foun­da­tion chief, is mean­ing­less.

“The key is not to ap­point any spe­cific per­son to task of ex­pand­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion across the S traits ,” he said. “The key is to up­hold the 1992 Con­sen­sus and rec­og­nize the one-China prin­ci­ple .”

“Tien be­longs to the proin­de­pen­dence camp, and is ex­pected to make no ef­fort to im­prove cross-Straits ties,” Liu said.

The top foun­da­tion post had been va­cant since Tsai took of­fice in May.

Tai­wan-based Eco­nomic Daily News re­ported that foun­da­tion mem­bers had re­signed after Tien took of­fice.

“It shows that peo­ple who want to im­prove cross-Straits re­la­tions are dis­ap­pointed,” Liu said.

On Mon­day, Chen Dem­ing, pres­i­dent of the As­so­ci­a­tion for Re­la­tions Across the Tai­wan Straits, said in a state­ment: “Only if the foun­da­tion is au­tho­rized to rec­og­nize the 1992 Con­sen­sus — the po­lit­i­cal foun­da­tion of the one-China prin­ci­ple — can au­tho­rized com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween both sides re­sume.”

The only way to push for­ward com­mu­ni­ca­tion is for Tai­wan to rec­og­nize the one-China prin­ci­ple.” Zhu Songling, di­rec­tor of Bei­jing Union Univer­sity’s In­sti­tute of Cross-Straits Re­la­tions

Tien Hung-mao, chair­man of the Straits Ex­change Foun­da­tion

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