United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
April 7, 2016
Executive Summary: Annette Lu has called on Tsai Ing-wen to forsake black box operations and reveal the contents of her May 20 inaugural speech. Tsai Ing-wen should hold public hearings and solicit people's opinions. Tsai Ing-wen should ask the public whether she should “interpret the 1992 Consensus according to the constitutional framework of the Republic of China”?
Full Text Below:
Last week Xi Jinping and Barack Obama discussed cross-Straits relations. Their discussion underscored the relationship between Taipei, Beijing, and Washington.
Obama welcomed the historic progress made in cross-Strait relations over the past eight years. He said that when DPP president-elect Tsai Ing-wen takes office, Washington will continue to encourage Beijing and Taipei. Xi Jinping said the Mainland will adhere to the political foundation established by the 1992 Consensus. This means the "historic progress made in cross-Strait relations over the past eight years" is linked inextricably with the “political foundation created by the 1992 Consensus".
In fact, Kin Moy, Taipei Office Director of the American Institute in Taiwan, made just such a linkage in late February. He put it bluntly, saying that Washington affirms the Ma government's eight year long record of achievements in cross-Strait relations. It realizes this achievement is linked to the 1992 Consensus. Washington hopes that Tsai Ing-wen will maintain the Ma government's cross-Strait achievements. But it offered no comment and took no stand on Tsai Ing-wen's response to the 1992 Consensus.
Unfortunately Beijing insists that the 1992 Consensus is the political foundation for cross-Strait relations. Washington recognizes that the political foundation for today's cross-Strait achievements is the 1992 Consensus. If Tsai Ing-wen refuses to accept the 1992 Consensus, how can she fulfill Washington's desire to maintain these very same cross-Strait achievements?
The signs are becoming clearer and clearer. Beijing will not back down from its demand that Tsai Ing-wen affirm the 1992 Consensus. The term has been sanctified by the 18th Party Congress, the Ma Xi summit, two meetings in Beijing, even the meeting between Xi and Obama. This has b een true from the beginning. It has been forged from iron, and cannot be altered. The more the DPP refuses to accept it, the more Beijing will insist on it.
Tsai Ing-wen finds herself in a dilemma. She should stop thinking about how to dispense with the term. Instead, she should think about how to interpret the term her own way. Since she cannot dispense with it, she should attempt to define its content. That is the right and sensible course of action.
Zhang Zhijun said, "repudiating the 1992 Consensus amounts to changing the status quo". This is the language of containment. But he also said the 1992 Consensus represents both adherence to principle and an expression of good faith. This suggests a way out.
Beijing is eager to uphold the endangered "one China, different interpretations". Wang Yi said he hoped Tsai Ing-wen would "reaffirm her own constitution, which defines both sides of the Strait as part of one China". Beijing saw this as an expression of “good faith”. It even said she "need only be clear about a constitutional one China". Beijing has repeatedly said that "She may use her own manner of expression". That may be Beijing's way of breaking the impasse. If Tsai Ing-wen can interpret the 1992 Consensus her own way, she need not reject the term "1992 Consensus".
This is the situation following the Xi Obama meeting. Beijing will not compromise on the term “1992 Consensus" or the "core meaning of the 1992 Consensus”. Washington hopes Tsai Ing-wen will continue Ma Ying-jeou's eight year long achievement in cross-Strait relations. Washington recognizes the contribution of the 1992 Consensus, and realizes the importance Beijing places on the 1992 Consensus as a political foundation. But Washington will not comment on whether Tsai Ing-wen should follow in Ma Ying-jeou by recognizing the 1992 Consensus. Tsai Ing-wen pledged to "maintain the status quo in cross-Strait relations". In effect, she affirmed Ma Ying-jeou's eight year long achievement in cross-Strait relations. How then can she reject the 1992 Consensus, which is the very political foundation of the status quo she has pledged to maintain?
Tsai Ing-wen need not repudiate the 1992 Consensus. She need not dispense with the 1992 Consensus. She cannot afford to do so. As mentioned earlier, Beijing, Washington, and Tsai Ing-wen have all affirmed the "status quo". Washington even praised it as "historic progress". All three parties hope to “maintain the status quo". Therefore Tsai Ing-wen cannot dispense with the 1992 Consensus, the political foundation for the status quo.
Besides, she need not. Beijing has yet to target the "Taiwan independence party platform". if Beijing considers the 1992 Consensus an expression of good faith, Tsai Ing-wen should interpret it her own way. She should interpret it according to the Republic of China Constitution. Tsai Ing-wen has pledged to promote cross-Strait relations under the "existing constitutional framework of the Republic of China”. Therefore she merely needs to interpret the “1992 Consensus” by referring to "the existing constitutional framework of the Republic of China”, and that will be that. Tsai Ing-wen can then interpret the 1992 Consensus in her own “value-added” manner. She need not reject the term “1992 Consensus”.
For Taiwan, the 1992 Consensus means the "one China Constitution; to one China, different interpretations; to no immediate reunification, no independence, and no use of force". For Taiwan, the 1992 Consensus represents both adherence to principle and an expression of good faith. The 1992 Consensus is where Beijing and Taipei meet in good faith.
Annette Lu has called on Tsai Ing-wen to forsake black box operations and reveal the contents of her May 20 inaugural speech. Tsai Ing-wen should hold public hearings and solicit people's opinions. Tsai Ing-wen should ask the public whether she should “interpret the 1992 Consensus according to the constitutional framework of the Republic of China”?
在民進黨蔡英文政府就任後，美國也鼓勵北京和台北持續努力」； 習近平則說，「大陸將堅持九二共識的政治基礎」。至此，「 兩岸八年的歷史性進展」已與「九二共識的政治基礎」連結。
連結」說得十分直白。他的語意是： 美國肯定八年來馬政府在兩岸關係上的成就， 且認知此成就與九二共識有關。 美國希望蔡英文政府能維持馬政府的兩岸成就， 但對蔡政府對九二共識作何認知不持立場。
美國亦認知今日兩岸成就是奠基九二共識， 若蔡英文拒不接受九二共識， 如何回應美國對她維持當前兩岸成就的期望？
這四個字經中共十八大、馬習會、北京兩會，至今次歐習會， 一路走來，可謂千錘百煉，難以動搖。民進黨愈不接受這四個字， 只會使北京愈堅持這四個字。
希望蔡英文「回到他們自己憲法所規定的兩岸同屬一個中國」， 即被視為北京的「善意」，甚至稱「 只要把憲法的一中說清楚就可以了」。北京多次表示，「 她可用自己的方式表述」，這或許即是打開僵局的出口。 如果蔡英文能「以自己的方式」詮釋九二共識，即無須擺脫「 九二共識」這四個字。
九二共識的核心意涵」皆無退讓跡象。在華府， 希望兩岸關係的八年成就能「馬成蔡隨」， 且認知到九二共識的功效，亦認知北京堅持以九二共識為政治基礎， 但美國對蔡是否在九二共識上「馬規蔡隨」不表態。在蔡英文， 則宣示要「維持兩岸關係現狀」， 這其實已是對八年來兩岸關係的成就表示肯定與珍惜， 但若拒絕承繼九二共識的「現狀」， 是否將使這一切皆失去政治基礎？
如前所述，北京、華府與蔡英文三方，皆認同「維持現狀」， 美國更譽為「歷史性進展」。如果三方皆以「維持現狀」為寄望， 蔡英文恐就沒有可能甩掉此一現狀之所奠基的政治基礎九二共識。
九二共識」維持「善意」，蔡英文理應爭取「以自己的方式」， 依據中華民國憲法來詮釋九二共識。蔡英文既稱「 在中華民國現行憲政體制下，推動兩岸關係」，那麼「 在中華民國憲法架構下，詮釋九二共識」即順理成章。倘能如此，「 九二共識」即是經由蔡英文「以自己的方式」加工加值的「 九二共識」。那麼，也就不必否定九二共識這四個字了。
不獨／不武」；因而，在台灣而言，其實九二共識也是原則， 亦是善意。在九二共識上，北京與台灣的「善意」 有很大的交集之處。