1992 Consensus ensures lasting cross-Straits peace

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-11-7 20:57:03

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou held a historic meeting on Saturday at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore. The handshake between the two leaders lasted for 70 seconds, long enough for journalists to take enough photos. The 70 seconds symbolized the mixed feelings of people across the Straits for 66 years. 

The meeting's biggest highlight was the two leaders' commitment to upholding the 1992 Consensus, while confirming that the consensus is the political foundation of peaceful development of cross-Straits relations. Ma elaborated on it from the Taiwan perspective at the news conference, and expressed his wish to establish a stable structure in cross-Straits ties on the basis of the 1992 Consensus. From Ma's remarks and Taiwanese reporters' questions, it was clear that the island's great concern was safeguarding peace, and its involvement in international activities. It hopes for greater commitment from the mainland. For example, it raised its concerns over the missile base in Fujian, and rejection of the Taiwanese people at the UN. 

These concerns and wishes from Taiwan are natural. But it's worth noting that the development of cross-Straits relations over the past seven years has indeed consolidated peace. As long as Taiwan continues to uphold the 1992 Consensus, many issues may be gradually resolved, and peace across the Straits will become permanent.  

The real disturbing uncertainties originate from Taiwan.  Taiwan's general election in about 70 days shows Tsai Ing-wen, the candidate of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), leading in the polls and most likely to be elected the next Taiwan leader. Tsai is milder than Chen Shui-bian on "Taiwan Independence" and  generally supports maintaining the cross-Straits status quo, but she has never stated her adherence to the 1992 Consensus. There is overwhelming concern that she may do something to promote "Taiwan Independence" once elected.  

If She wins, it would mean that the 1992 Consensus may be at risk. If so, cross-Straits relations will suffer. The trend will shift from "enhancing cooperation" to "opposing 'Taiwan Independence.'"  

So far, Tsai is not directly advocating "Taiwan Independence."  However, Taiwan society lacks vigilance, and Taiwan has failed to impose restrictions on its potential destructive force to the island's future. 

In this sense, the Taiwan people should demand an assurance from Tsai and the DPP for peace and an environment for Taiwan to participate in international events. The DPP has made no attempt to remove the "Taiwan Independence" proposition from its charter, but the proposition has lost any possibility of flourishing after the mainland's rise. On the contrary, it is only a threat to Taiwan's future. The Taiwan people must urge Tsai to declare that the DPP also upholds the 1992 Consensus. 

The Xi-Ma meeting is an historic moment that caters to the public opinion across the Straits, and serves as a milestone in cross-Straits relations. Implementing the outcomes of that meeting rests on Taiwan. Since it is still weeks before Taiwan votes, its society must urge candidates that only by adhering to the 1992 Consensus can they fulfill their obligations of guaranteeing a lasting peace for the island's 23 million people, and therefore be qualified as a "president." This means the destiny of Taiwan's future rests in the hands of its society. 

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