75% of Taiwanese reject Beijing’s view of ‘1992 consensus’: poll

Taipei, Around 75 percent of Taiwanese people refuse to accept the "1992 consensus" defined by China as the "one China principle," with the "one country, two systems" concept being its proposed method of reunifying the mainland and Taiwan, according to a survey released by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Thursday.

The survey found 74.3 percent of 1,078 respondents said they will not accept "the 1992 consensus" under Beijing's definition that it means the one China principle, while 75.4 percent said they opposed the "one country, two systems" approach, according to the MAC, which is in charge of exchanges across the Taiwan Strait.

An even greater percentage - 89.3 percent - of the respondents said Taiwan's future and cross-Strait relations should be decided by the 23 million people on the island, according to the survey.

On Jan. 2, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a speech commemorating the 40th anniversary of the "Message to Compatriots in Taiwan" that China must be reunified.

He said China was willing to talk with any party in Taiwan to push forward the political process as long as the party accepts the "one China principle."

However, "we make no promise to renounce the use of force and reserve the option of taking all necessary means" to serve that end, Xi said, while adding that China will continue to seek "peaceful reunification."

In his speech, he defined the "1992 consensus" as "the two sides of the strait belonging to one China, and working together to seek the unification of the nation." He also said the "one country, two systems" formula was the best approach to achieving reunification.

But about 86.7 percent of the respondents said China should respect Taiwan as an political entity and use a pragmatic approach to treat the island, while 90.1 percent of the people surveyed said as Taiwan's government is pushing for economic development, it also has to protect national security.

The survey indicated 76.1 percent of the respondents supported President Tsai Ing-wen "Four Musts."

According to Tsai, China must recognize the existence of the Republic of China (Taiwan), respect the values of democracy and freedom Taiwan's 23 million people hold dear, resolve cross-Taiwan Strait differences in a peaceful and equitable manner, and sit down for talks with the government of Taiwan or an institution with a mandate from the government.

In addition, 50.6 percent of the respondents said they did not believe the "1992 consensus" has ever existed, while 77.2 percent of them said they opposed China's decision not to promise to abandon the use of force against Taiwan.

The "1992 consensus" refers to a verbal agreement reached in 1992 between the then Kuomintang (KMT) government of Taiwan and Chinese communist officials. The agreement has been consistently interpreted by the KMT to mean that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is only "one China," with each side free to interpret what "China" means.

However, Beijing has never publicly voiced support for the second part of the KMT's interpretation.

Commenting on the survey, MAC spokesperson Chiu Chui-cheng said Beijing has long manipulated the one China principle to achieve its goal of unifying with Taiwan.

Chiu said under the 1992 consensus defined by Beijing, China has the intention of eliminating the ROC, so Taiwan will not accept any of Beijing's proposals on its future.

He urged all political parties and people in Taiwan to not accept China's proposals and also called for Beijing to respect what Taiwanese people want, so as to help cross-strait ties move in a positive direction.

The survey was conducted from Jan. 11-13 and has a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.98 percentage points, according to the MAC.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel