United Daily News Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
December 29, 2015
Executive Summary: Tsai Ing-wen need not quibble over "1992 consensus" vs. "1992 fact". That is merely the skin of the dumpling. That is mere self-deception. After all, does Tsai Ing-wen really want to trade "one China, different interpretations”, the meat inside the dumpling, for the skin? Once again, we urge Tsai Ing-wen to bite the bullet. Tsai must ask herself how she can recognize then benefit from the 1992 consensus, within the framework of the ROC Constitution.
Full Text Below:
Following the Ma Xi summit, Zhang Zhijun, Director of Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office, addressed the DPP. He said, "Recognizing the historical fact of the 1992 Consensus and agreeing with its core meaning (is sufficient)". Tsai Ing-wen recently declared, "The DPP has not denied historical facts. The two sides held talks in 1992. The DPP also recognizes that the two sides sought common ground and shelved differences that year. It recognizes the fact of these consultations".
Tsai Ing-wen has flip-flopped on the 1992 Consensus yet again. But her flip-flop is not complete. This time, as we can see, Tsai Ing-wen yielded to Beijing. Beijing has not, as Tsai Ing-wen predicted, “yielded to the DPP because it won the general election".
Zhang Zhijun asked, and Tsai Ing-wen answered. Such terms as "historical facts" and "recognize", were all part of Zhang Zhijun's vocabulary. Tsai Ing-wen changed "1992 Consensus" to "1992 Cross-Strait Talks" and substituted the phrase "sought common ground while shelving differences through consultations” for "core meaning".
Tsai Ing-wen has long refused to recognize the 1992 Consensus. Now, however, she finds herself painted into a corner. She is now splitting “1992” off from “Consensus”. She acknowledges that a meeting was held in 1992. She refers to the “consultation” as “a fact”, one that “sought common ground while shelving differences". Since she cannot refer to the result of the meeting as the 1992 Consensus, can she refer to it as “the fact of a 1992 Consultation"? But the two are one and the same. So why has she made such a fuss over the 1992 Consensus up until now?
Tsai Ing-wen's retreat can be viewed from two perspectives: Beijing's and Tsai Ing-wen's.
Consider Beijing's perspective. Can Tsai Ing-wen accept the historical facts? Beijing has been monitoring her stealthy retreat. But she refuses to stick to the script. She refuses to come right out and recognize the 1992 Consensus. Cross-Strait relations remain unsettled. Tsai Ing-wen has substituted "1992 fact" for “1992 Consensus”. Has she reinforced the levee? Or is she merely fleeing before the flood waters?
Consider Tsai Ing-wen's perspective. She has substituted the “1992 fact” for "1992 Consensus". She has prolonged the cross-Strait stalemate and increased its cost. Chronic confrontations are not necessarily to her advantage. Therefore Tsai Ing-wen might as well recognize the 1992 Consensus outright, and make the most of “seeking common ground while shelving differences”.
Tsai Ing-wen has acknowledged that the 1992 consensus sought common ground while shelving differences. But she has not explained just what the common ground and differences are. The 1992 Consensus sought common ground and shelved differences by stipulating that, "Both sides of the Taiwan Strait adhere to the one China principle. But they differ on the meaning of one China”. Accordingly, "Both sides agree to express their own position verbally". Based on this premise, Beijing has emphasized "opposition to Taiwan independence”, and reiterated that “both sides are part of one China". The Ma government has emphasized "one China, different interpretations", and "no (immediate) reunification, no Taiwan independence, and no use of force". This is the framework of the 1992 Consensus. This is what enables "seeking common ground while shelving differences". If Tsai Ing-wen recognizes "seeking common ground" in the 1992 Consensus, she must affirm that pursuant to the ROC Constitution, she must recognize the "one China principle" and uphold "one China, different interpretations”.
The phrase "seeking common ground while shelving differences" necessarily implies "one China, different interpretations". It necessarily precludes "one nation on each side" and the Taiwan independence party platform. In other words, "seeking common ground while shelving differences" is not empty rhetoric. One must specify “What common ground? What differences?”
Tsai Ing-wen says she wishes to "maintain the status quo". But her "status quo" is not Ma Ying-jeou's “status quo”. Tsai has held forth on “democracy vs. black box operations”, on “shared vs. monopolized”, on “selective vs. limited”. But that was mere rhetoric. She was invoking technical details, not fundamental principles. Tsai Ing-wen has said that her Republic of China and Ma Ying-jeou's Republic of China are different. Her Republic of China includes only Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu. It includes only the Tamshui River and Tsoshui Creek, whereas Ma Ying-jeou's one China includes the Yangtze River and Heilongjiang. Tsai Ing-wen said that Ma Ying-jeou's one China is the same as Beijing's one China.
Does Tsai Ing-wen wish to affirm the 1992 Consensus? If so, she can no longer obfuscate in order to hide her true position. Her “status quo” is different. Her “ROC” is different. Her “China” is different. These are all matters of fundamental principle. The 1992 Consensus refers to “seeking common ground while shelving differences”. Does she really think the differences she refers to are the same as those referred to in the 1992 Consensus? Does she really think that her definition of the Republic of China will enable her to interact with Beijing?
Tsai Ing-wen has already yielded to Beijing on the 1992 consensus. This move is worth encouraging. It is also inevitable. Tsai must not say, "Ma Ying-jeou and I are not the same". If she is elected and assumes power, she will be the beneficiary of Ma Ying-jeou's cross-Strait legacy. That includes 23 cross-Strait agreements, Mainland tourists coming to Taiwan, peaceful development, a diplomatic truce, one China, different interpretations, the consultation mechanism for cross-Strait laws, and the Ma Xi summit. She should be respectful and grateful. She should ask herself how she can be more like Ma Ying-jeou. Ma Ying-jeou blazed a trail for Tsai Ing-wen. From the 1992 consensus, he got one China, different interpretations.
Tsai Ing-wen need not quibble over "1992 consensus" vs. "1992 fact". That is merely the skin of the dumpling. That is mere self-deception. After all, does Tsai Ing-wen really want to trade "one China, different interpretations”, the meat inside the dumpling, for the skin?
Once again, we urge Tsai Ing-wen to bite the bullet. Tsai must ask herself how she can recognize then benefit from the 1992 consensus, within the framework of the ROC Constitution.
只要承認九二共識的歷史事實，認同其核心內涵（即可）。」 蔡英文的最新說法是：「 民進黨沒有否認一九九二年兩岸會談的歷史事實，也認同當年…… 求同存異……的這段協商溝通的經過和事實。」
等語，皆是張志軍的詞彙；蔡英文只是把「九二共識」改成了「 一九九二年兩岸會談」，又將「 認同求同存異的協商溝通經過和事實」，代換了「核心內涵」。
她如今把「九二」與「共識」拆開：承認一九九二年開會的「事實」 ，又稱此會曾有「求同存異」的「協商事實」。那麼，如果不稱作「 九二共識」，能不能就稱為「九二協商事實」呢？ 但如果二者其實是同一回事，那又何必為「九二共識」 四個字鬧到今天這步田地？
使北京看出她的馬步鬆動；但她又作出了不肯照本接受「九二共識」 的姿態，仍然未能解決兩岸之間的不確定性。蔡英文這個以「 九二事實」來替代「九二共識」的說法，究竟是築高了河堤？ 還是潰堤的前兆？
則極可能拖長了兩岸僵持的時間與代價， 而每一次糾纏皆未必對大局有益。因此，蔡英文實不如在「 九二共識」四字上果敢認賠殺出，打脫牙和血吞， 再回過頭來經營九二共識「求同存異」的政治效能。
九二共識求同存異的原型是：「海峽兩岸雖均堅持一個中國原則， 但對一個中國的涵義，認知各有不同」，據此，「 雙方同意各自以口頭方式表述」。出自此一原型，發展引伸開來， 北京方面強調「反對台獨／兩岸同屬一個中國」，而馬政府強調「 一中各表」「不統／不獨／不武」，這始是九二共識「求同存異」 的完整架構。蔡英文若認同九二共識的「求同存異」，就必須表態： 她是否依據中華民國憲法，認知「一個中國原則」，並力守「 一中各表」的防線。
不同，謂是民主vs.黑箱，共享vs.寡占，選擇vs.限縮云云 。但這些空泛的言語皆只在技術層次，而不在原則層次。 蔡英文曾說，她的中華民國與馬英九的中華民國不同。 她的中華民國，指的就是台澎金馬，只包括淡水河、濁水溪； 而馬英九主張的一個中國，卻是包括長江、黑龍江。蔡英文並說： 馬英九主張的一個中國，與北京主張的一個中國相同。
她既然有不同的現狀，不同的中華民國，不同的中國， 這些皆是原則問題。難道她認為這也是九二共識的「求同存異」？ 難道她將在這般的「求同存異」上與北京發展互動？
這是值得鼓勵的轉身，更是不得不然的轉身。蔡英文不要說，「 我和馬英九不一樣」。待她若當選主政， 面對馬英九留下的兩岸二十三協議、陸客來台、和平發展、 外交休兵、一中各表、兩岸三級法制化協商平台，及馬習會等資產， 心中應當存有敬謹、感恩與珍惜之情，並思如何才能和馬英九一樣。 因為，馬英九已為蔡英文打開了出路：從「九二共識」進，由「 一中各表」出。