A meeting between President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is possible, even without her recognition of the so-called “1992 consensus,” former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良) said yesterday.
“As long as Xi is willing to meet with Tsai, there could be such a meeting,” Hsu said.
“It’s not the DPP that does not want to accept the 1992 consensus, but rather it is a large number of Taiwanese,” Hsu said at a seminar sponsored by the Ma Ying-jeou Foundation to mark the third anniversary of former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) historic summit with Xi in Singapore in 2015.
Describing Tsai as an elite rather than a staunch supporter of Taiwanese independence, Hsu said that the DPP would have gone down if it had accepted the “1992 consensus,” given that the party had long refused to recognize the agreement.
“If the DPP had been forced to accept the consensus after it came to power, it would have crashed,” Hsu said.
The “1992 consensus,” a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000, refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese government that both sides of the Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
Ma upheld the “consensus” as the basis of exchanges between Taiwan and China during his presidency from 2008 to 2016.
Since Tsai came to power in May 2016, cross-strait relations have soured because of her refusal to openly recognize it.
Hsu said that the DPP should not be blamed for the stalemate in cross-strait relations, but rather China should be held responsible considering its constant bullying of Taiwan over many years.
“China has spared no effort to bully Taiwan, and now is being bullied by the US,” Hsu said, adding that China should reflect on its own behavior or risk global isolation.
Also at the seminar, former DPP legislator Hong Chi-chang (洪奇昌) said there was a string of conditions from 2008 to 2015 that eventually led to the Ma-Xi meeting.
“In the same way, a Tsai-Xi meeting could be held,” he said.
Speaking after the closing ceremony of the two-day seminar, Ma said the chances of a meeting between Tsai and Xi were slim, given that the two sides are sharply divided and have no common ground.
Ma suggested that Taiwan should “stick to the Constitution” when deciding a course of action.
“It is the best direction and I will not rule out the possibility of reunification of the two sides,” he said.
However, “there is no timetable for unification and it would require public consensus on when and how the two sides should make such a move,” he said.