KMT chair proposes updated ‘1992 consensus’ with emphasis on ROC

Taipei-Johnny Chiang (???), chairman of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT), said this week that his party had updated its approach to the "1992 consensus" by placing greater emphasis on the Republic of China (ROC) as a political entity, but he offered few details on how it would differ in substance.

The 1992 consensus refers to a tacit understanding that Taiwan's then-Kuomintang (KMT) government and the Chinese government reached in 1992, which was interpreted by the KMT to mean that both sides acknowledged there was only "one China," with each side free to interpret what that meant.

Taiwan's current ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), however, has argued that the consensus is meaningless, because China has never openly recognized that each side is free to make its own interpretation, although it has never denied it.

In an interview Monday, Chiang said the KMT's current cross-strait policies "cannot be fulfilled" under the 1992 consensus, which he said had to "keep up with the times."

Rather, the party now supports what could be defined as a "1992 consensus plus," based on the ROC Constitution," Chiang said.

In practice, he said, this means that the KMT will place greater emphasis on the legitimacy of the ROC, in the party's future approach to cross-strait relations.

Also, given the ROC Constitution's commitment to democracy, it also means that any major changes in cross-strait policy must first be "authorized" by the Taiwanese people, he said.

Responding to Chiang's comments on Wednesday, China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) said it is opposed to any approach that seeks to "highlight divisions" between the two sides.

The core principle of the 1992 consensus is that "both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one China and will work together in pursuit of national unification," TAO spokesperson Zhu Fenglian (???) said at a press conference.

It is unacceptable to try to change or obscure that principle, whether or not the consensus is "keeping up with the times," she said.

The KMT, meanwhile, said later in the day that its "core principle" is adherence to the ROC Constitution.

The new approach to the 1992 consensus is intended to encourage cross-strait dialogue, exchanges, coordination, and problem solving, as there is currently "only confrontation, and no dialogue" in the relationship, the KMT said, in response to Zhu's comments.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel