Tsai Ing-wen on the Ma-Xi Meeting
Limiting the Choice of the Taiwanese
Today, after watching the Ma-Xi meeting on the television, I believe most Taiwanese are as disappointed as I am. President Ma left under the concern that this visit would be shrouded in secrecy. Now he is about to return with even greater controversy.
Limiting the Choice of the TaiwaneseBy Sara Wu
From CommonWealth Magazine (vol. 585 )
We had hoped that President Ma would speak about Taiwan’s democracy, freedom, and the existence of the Republic of China. More importantly, that he would mention the freedom of the Taiwanese people to make their own choices. However, none of these were mentioned.
It is with regret that we see the only result from the Ma-Xi meeting was their attempt to limit the people’s ability to choose the future of cross-strait relations by setting political preconditions on the international stage. This morning, we had hoped that President Ma would do three things for the Taiwanese people: guaranteeing the 23 million Taiwanese’ right to choose; not set political preconditions in the cross-strait relationship; and attain equal respect. None of them were achieved.
Self-identity amongst the Taiwanese people has always been a complicated matter. But I have always believed, that after twenty years of democratization, the Taiwanese are a free and democratic people. I believe that the DPP can lead the Taiwanese people to express how they truly feel. Political preconditions that are devoid of democratic procedure and without a firm basis in public opinion will never be accepted by the people of Taiwan.
I have confidence in Taiwan’s democracy and the Taiwanese people. Together with the Taiwanese people, we will use democracy to reverse the damage caused by the Ma-Xi meeting.
About the “1992 Consensus”
In the early 1990s, Taiwan and China began having contact, but the two sides had to resolve how to define their respective status before engaging in pragmatic negotiations. After several meetings, it was decided in 1992 that “each side use its own oral statements to describe the ‘one-China principle.’” It was the first time common ground had been reached in more than 40 years in facing the core problem of how to define “one China.” After this consensus was reached, talks were held between Koo Chen-fu and Wang Daohan, the heads of quasi-official organizations representing Taiwan and the PRC in bilateral contacts, respectively, in Singapore in 1993. In 2000, then Secretary-General of National Security Council Su Chi described this as the “1992 consensus.” The consensus has never been recognized by the Democratic Progressive Party.
Sources: Mainland Affairs Council press releases, “20 Years of Vacillations in Cross-Strait Relations”