MAC head brushes off '1992 consensus'
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, May 25 (CNA) Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) chief Chen Ming-tung (陳明通) criticized the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) on Friday after a recent diplomatic setback for Taiwan, saying the formula it advocated for relations with China will not work.
In response to the KMT's claim that the loss of Taiwan's diplomatic allies was a result of the government's refusal to accept the "1992 consensus," Chen said he disagreed and doubted whether related problems would be resolved if Taiwan were to accept the consensus.
Beijing has insisted that the consensus -- a tacit agreement reached in 1992 between Taiwanese and Chinese officials that the two sides belong to "one China," with either side free to interpret what that means -- serve as the political foundation for cross-strait interactions.
"It won't work even if Taiwan accepts the consensus, as China won't accept a free interpretation of 'one China,'" Chen argued at a regular news briefing while calling for unity among Taiwan's people.
He said China poached another of Taiwan's diplomatic partners because it wanted to vent its anger after Taiwan received backing from the international community, Chen said, citing the support Taiwan received directly and indirectly at the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva this past week.
Burkina Faso announced Thursday that it was cutting ties with Taiwan, leaving the country with only 18 diplomatic allies -- the lowest number in history.
It was the fourth country to do so since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came to power in May 2016.
Taiwan lost one diplomatic ally in the eight previous years under a KMT administration that supported the "1992 consensus."
Tsai and the DPP she leads refuse to accept the "1992 consensus," stalling cross-strait relations over the past two years and accelerating Beijing's efforts to block Taiwan from participating in world bodies, such as the annual WHA.
"Although Taiwan has been supportive of cross-strait exchanges, it seems that the atmosphere has changed," Chen said.
Echoing Tsai's comment Thursday that "Taiwan will not give in more," the MAC chief said "we won't ignite confrontation, but we will not tolerate more either."
From now on, Taiwan will closely scrutinize applications by Chinese officials to visit under Taiwan's legal framework, and the MAC will adopt more measures to strengthen the country's security mechanism, he said.
(By Miao Zong-han and Flor Wang)
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