If the ‘1992 Con­sen­sus’ not kept, ROC’s po­si­tion to change: scholar

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Tai­wan’s strate­gic sit­u­a­tion will need to change to­ward stronger part­ner­ships with the United States and Ja­pan if the new ad­min­is­tra­tion in 2016 does not ac­cept the “1992 Con­sen­sus,” a po­lit­i­cal scholar said Wed­nes­day.

Wu Yu-shan, a re­searcher at the In­sti­tute of Po­lit­i­cal Science at Academia Sinica, said that no mat­ter who wins the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion next year, Bei­jing will be more con­cerned about whether Tai­wan will main­tain the “1992 Con­sen­sus.”

The “1992 Con­sen­sus” is de­fined by the rul­ing Kuom­intang (KMT) as re­fer­ring to a tacit agree­ment reached be­tween Tai­wan and China in 1992 that there is only one China, with each side free to in­ter­pret its mean­ing.

Wu made the re­marks on the side­lines of the 2015 East Asian Mar­itime Peace Fo­rum in Taipei.

He noted that the KMT ad­min­is­tra­tion, on one hand, sides with the United States diplo­mat­i­cally, but on the other hand, takes a po­si­tion ac­cept­able to Bei­jing in or­der to avoid risk.

Wu pointed out that if Tsai Ing­wen — the pres­i­den­tial can­di­date of the op­po­si­tion Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) who is ahead of the KMT’s can­di­date in public opin­ion polls — wins the elec­tion next year, her po­si­tion on cross-Tai­wan Strait re­la­tions will de­cide Tai­wan’s strate­gic po- sition next year.

If Tai­wan stops tilt­ing to­ward China, it will re­turn to the sit­u­a­tion seen be­tween 2000 and 2008, when cross-strait re­la­tions were strained un­der the pre­vi­ous DPP ad­min­is­tra­tion, he said.

But if the DPP, which fa­vors Tai­wan in­de­pen­dence, can think of some­thing that will not cause Bei­jing to lose face and will re­spond to DPP sup­port­ers at the same time, then the prob­lem could be solved, he said.

Wu said that Tai­wan’s strate­gic po­si­tion af­ter the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion can have only two op­tions: main­tain the cur­rent com­pro­mise course with China to avoid risk; and if risk re­gard­ing China can­not be avoided, then Tai­wan will have to tilt to­ward the United States and Ja­pan to form stronger part­ner­ships.

On whether Tai­wan’s eco­nomic per­for­mance will be­come a ma­jor fac­tor in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, Wu said that Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou won two con­sec­u­tive terms be­cause the public had high ex­pec­ta­tions of Tai­wan’s econ­omy.

He noted that div­i­dends that the Ma ad­min­is­tra­tion has reaped from its cross-strait pol­icy have not been able to sus­tain the is­land’s eco­nomic mo­men­tum.

Vot­ers more con­cerned about the econ­omy are un­likely to sup­port the KMT in view of the cur­rent eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion, he said.

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