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Chinese official reiterates '1992 consensus' mantra

ROC Central News Agency

2016/12/23 14:38:39

Beijing, Dec. 23 (CNA) A senior Chinese official responsible for Taiwan affairs on Friday reiterated Beijing's insistence that the "1992 consensus" be an important anchor for cross-Taiwan Strait peace and stability.

Over the past eight years, cross-strait relations have developed peacefully mainly because both sides established a common political foundation by "sticking to the '1992 consensus' and opposing Taiwan independence," said Zhang Zhijun (張志軍), director of the Taiwan Affairs Office.

The importance of the consensus lies in the fact that it answers a fundamental question, saying that "the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are one country, rather than two," Zhang said during a meeting with a Taiwanese delegation led by Kuomintang Vice Chairman Chen Chen-hsiang (陳鎮湘).

"Precedent has shown that sticking to such a political foundation will allow continued healthy development of cross-strait ties," he said. "Damaging the foundation will damage the fruit of peaceful development in cross-strait ties, leading to endless problems across the strait."

The "1992 consensus" refers to a tacit understanding reached in 1992 between China and Taiwan, which was then under a Kuomintang (KMT) government, that there is only one China, with both sides free to interpret what that means.

Since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party came to office in May, relations between the two sides have cooled, mainly because she has refused to heed Beijing's calls to accept the "1992 consensus" as the political foundation for cross-strait exchanges.

Zhang said Beijing has noticed that "some pro-Taiwan independence forces are inciting hostility and confrontation between the people on both sides of the strait, severely worsening the atmosphere of cross-strait relations and affecting the peaceful development of cross-strait ties."

But despite the setbacks and risks in cross-strait relations at the moment, there is still hope for the future, he said without elaborating.

(By Yin Chun-chieh and Y.F. Low)

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