Q: During the debate, Chairperson [Tsai] talked about her views on the 1992 Consensus. However, today, the People’s Republic of China Taiwan Affairs Office states that the key is to accept the 1992 Consensus, its core meaning and its essence, which is ‘One China’.
A: Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s cross-strait policy this year reflects some adjustment in comparison to that of four years ago. Such adjustment is well received both nationally and internationally. You must be very familiar with what I have often mentioned – I hope that Taiwan has a [cross-strait] policy that is supported by 60-70% of the population. In the past, neither the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) nor the DPP had majority support for their [cross-strait] policy. Tsai Ing-wen’s adjustment has now won 60-70% agreement, which can be considered the Taiwan Consensus. This is not easy and we hope that Mainland China would value this. [From our point of view,] it is in Taiwan’s best interest to have a clear consensus before entering any future negotiations. If every political party in Taiwan insists on something that is only supported by 20-30% of the public, the same vicious political struggle we’ve seen over the years will continue. I now see a positive future because what Tsai Ing-wen’s puts forward this time, ‘maintaining the status quo’, is based on the Republic of China (ROC) constitutional order in conjunction with the public opinion [in Taiwan]. This has the highest level of agreement in Taiwan, which is the Taiwan consensus. However, the consensus in Taiwan is not necessarily the consensus between the DPP and the Chinese Communisty Party (CCP) or across the Taiwan Strait. We all know this but we are now in an election and in elections, everyone needs the consensus in Taiwan, which can unite Taiwan most effectively. In terms of how to promote cross-strait peace and work towards consensus across the strait under such strong public support in the future, this is the next step.
Q: The KMT alleges that the chairperson ‘moonlighted’ 30 years ago… What’s your take on this?
A: I can’t really answer this. I was already born 30 years ago but didn’t know the chairperson then.
Q: … when she was a professor, she was also working at a law firm…
A: No, this is hearsay. What you are passing on now is 3rd-hand information and if I respond, it’ll be 4th-hand. This is not very scientific.
Q: Is thc chairperson going to replace the 1992 Consensus with the 1992 Meeting’?
A: Is this what the chairperson said? She probably didn’t say this.
Q: (…she said that… [inaudible]) the 1992 meeting was a historical fact…
A: What she said was that there was such a meeting in 1992, which is a fact that everyone has to admit. This is not wrong… No need to debate this. The only point is whether a consensus was reached in this 1992 meeting. If you look at the history, both sides keep quarrelling with each other. Even in the KMT era, there have been different explanations. Therefore, we hope that in the future, Taiwan is more united, and on the basis of the history, forms a higher level of agreement and a consensus across the strait is a future step. In the past, there was no consensus within Taiwan and only one party had consensus with them (the CCP) while the other did not. But now there is a consensus within Taiwan. I see this as a good sign. As I said before, [a good cross-strait policy] has to be accepted by the Taiwanese. It’s only meaningful when it’s accepted by the Taiwanese. Otherwise, it’ll get caught up in political struggle and infighting in the same way we used cross-strait [issues] as political ammunition before. While it is welcomed internationally, the level of trust between the DPP and the CCP is not sufficient. This requires continuous communication and adjustment from everyone but I am optimistic.