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Chinese officials warn of perils of denying '1992 consensus'

Central News Agency

2011/12/16 23:36:00

By Charles Kang and Lilian Wu

Beijing, Dec. 16 (CNA) Chinese officials reaffirmed Friday that "the 1992 consensus" is the bedrock of cross-Taiwan Strait consultations, without which talks across the Taiwan Strait will be unable to continue.

At a party to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), both Jia Qinglin, the chairman of the National Committee of the People's Political Consultative Conference, and Wang Yi, director of the Taiwan Affairs Office under the State Council, stressed the importance of the consensus to cross-strait talks.

ARATS President Chen Yunlin said the association will firmly stick to the "1992 consensus."

The ARATS is a semi-official body set up to handle civilian exchanges with Taiwan in the absence of official ties.

Wang said abiding by the consensus will safeguard cross-strait trust and support the continuation of bilateral talks to enhance the well-being of peoples on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

If one denies or throws away the consensus, then cross-strait talks could come to an halt, cross-strait relations could regress, and the interests of peoples on both sides, especially Taiwanese people, will suffer, Wang warned.

China has reiterated the importance of the consensus several times in the run-up to Taiwan's Jan. 14 presidential election.

President Ma Ying-jeou, who is seeking re-election, has espoused the "1992 consensus," saying it has facilitated cross-strait talks.

The KMT believes the consensus refers to a tacit agreement in 1992 that the two sides believe there is only "one China" but with different interpretations as to what that means, though China has focused only on the first part of the agreement.

Ma's chief rival in the presidential election, Tsai Ing-wen of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, has denied the existence of the agreement and has advocated an undefined "Taiwan consensus" in its place to guide relations with China.

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