President Ma Ying-jeou reiterated the authority of the 1992 Consensus, stating that three documents support its continued use in cross-straits relations. Those documents include the National Unification Council (NUC) records in August 1992 adopting the “One China” policy and the November 1992 Hong Kong talks–Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), The Central News Agency reported. Ma made his statement during the opening speech at the “Cross-strait Relations Retrospect and Prospects” seminar today.
Ma said that he doesn’t believe the 1992 Consensus is the absolute answer to reunification, but it is a framework for discussions on cross-strait relations and economic ties.
While the 1992 Consensus agrees on the concept of “One China,” each side has claimed the right to “One China.” There has never been an agreement on what that policy means to each government, which Ma has called “one China with different interpretations.”
In 2008, Chinese state news organization Xinhua reported on a phone conversation with then presidents Hu Jintao and George W. Bush, during which Hu emphasized that cross-strait relations must be based on the 1992 Consensus and Bush confirmed that the U.S. would adhere to the One-China policy.
The 1992 Consensus has been the center of debate recently with the DPP gaining control in the last election as well as with the run up to the next presidential election in 2016, with DPP candidate Tsai Ing-wen holding a lead in the polls. Tsai has stated that, if elected, she would maintain the status quo in cross-strait relations. There was also controversy concerning Eric Chu’s recent visit to Shanghai for the 10th Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum and Beijing for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. At his Beijing meeting with Xi, Chu supposedly voiced support for reunification and the One-China policy, which many saw as pandering to the Chinese government. Chu was welcomed home with protests and people throwing shoes. There have been claims that Chu either didn’t say what was reported in media or that his words were misinterpreted.