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DPP caucus accuses China of 'blackmailing, coercing' Taiwan

ROC Central News Agency

2016/06/25 19:15:27

Taipei, June 25 (CNA) The legislative caucus of Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) reacted angrily Sunday to China's suspension of official communications with Taiwan, saying that forcing Taiwanese to accept its version of the "1992 Consensus" is tantamount to "blackmailing and coercing."

Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡), secretary-general of the DPP caucus at the Legislative Yuan, was commenting on China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman An Fengshan's rejection a day earlier of Taiwan's protest over the handover of Taiwanese fraud suspects caught overseas to the Chinese authorities.

An, while stating the reason for China ignoring Taiwan's protest, said for the first time that the cross-Taiwan Strait communication mechanism "has been suspended" since the new government was sworn in in Taipei last month, because the new government refuses to recognize the "1992 Consensus," which he said is the political foundation for cross-strait relations that embodies the one-China principle.

Previous Kuomintag (KMT) governments have accepted the consensus, which espouses the "one China" principle, with each side free to interpret what it means.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), in her inauguration address May 20, declared that she will work hard to maintain the existing mechanisms for dialogue and seek cooperation across the Taiwan Strait, without overtly stating her position on the "1992 Consensus."

The mechanisms to which Tsai referred include the Constitution of the Republic of China and the historical facts of 1992 that include "various joint acknowledgements and understandings" between the two sides of the strait through negotiation.

"It is based on such existing realities and political foundations that the stable and peaceful development of the cross-strait relationship must be continuously promoted," she said.

For Beijing, the only "political foundation" for continued cross-strait dialogue is its version of the "1992 Consensus," with little leeway for Taiwan to assert its version of "one China."

Wu said Taiwanese voters have chosen not to accept the "1992 Consensus" by rejecting the KMT and electing a DPP government, and yet China has persistently demanded that the Tsai administration accept it -- an move that he said will simply "toughen up Taiwanese determination."

If China adamantly pushes Taiwanese to accept the "1992 Consensus," "do they mean to decide for us what to choose?" Wu said. "This is not done in any democratic country."

He cited what the British have done in their EU membership referendum, in which each and every British citizen was able to show his or her will, he said.

No one will accept China's "blackmail and coercion," he said.

Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), deputy secretary-general of the KMT legislative caucus, said that even if the Tsai government does not accept the "1992 Consensus," it should come up with a set of measures to continue cross-strait interaction and exchanges and to solve problems arising from the current deadlock.

Tsai has claimed that her government is one that "solves problems," Chiang said. "Now we're waiting to see how she solves (cross-strait) problems."

Her "political foundations" have four key elements.

The first is the fact of the 1992 talks between the semi-official Taipei-based Straits Exchange Foundation and its Chinese counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, when there was joint acknowledgement of setting aside differences to seek common ground, she said in her inauguration address.

The second element is the existing ROC constitutional order, while the third element pertains to the outcomes of over 20 years of negotiations and interactions across the strait.

The fourth element "relates to the democratic principle and prevalent will of the people of Taiwan," said the president.

Her attitude toward cross-strait affairs, she said, will be based on the ROC Constitution, the Act Governing Relations between the People of Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, and other relevant legislation.

(By Liu Kuan-ting and S.C. Chang)
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