KMT responds to Xi’s definition of ‘1992 Consensus’

Taiwan’s Kuomintang (KMT) challenged Chinese President Xi Jinping’s definition of the so-called “1992 Consensus” on Thursday, saying his “one country, two systems” remarks are “not part of the content espoused” by the consensus.

In a statement (in Chinese) published on its website, the KMT said a “‘one country, two systems’ model unfortunately would not receive the support of the majority of Taiwanese.”

On Wednesday, Xi defined the “1992 Consensus” as a framework for “national unification” under a “one country, two systems” model, originally intended by China for Taiwan before being applied to Hong Kong and Macau.

The KMT, however, has long interpreted the consensus as allowing Taiwan to interpret “one China” as being the Republic of China (ROC) – a sovereign state under the ROC Constitution.

In the statement, the KMT also reiterated it was resolutely opposed to Taiwanese independence.

The KMT had been criticized for not immediately issuing a unified response to Xi’s speech after it presented a radically different interpretation of the “1992 Consensus,” which the party recognizes. The DPP does not recognize the consensus.


Credit: Reuters / TPG

The KMT says it does not agree with Xi Jinping's definition of the '1992 Consensus.'

Read More: Xi Calls Taiwan Independence 'Dead End,' Touts Success in 'Frustrating' Efforts

'Deep-Green' DPP faction urges Tsai to stand down in 2020

In an open letter published yesterday in several newspapers, pro-independence advocates within the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) called on President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to stand down from seeking re-election in 2020.

Tsai responded by saying the DPP would adhere to its democratic system of selecting presidential candidates and pledging to do her best to resist the “1992 Consensus” and “one country, two systems” models proposed by Beijing, said Presidential Office spokesperson Alex Huang (黃重諺).

The letter called for Tsai to immediately give administrative power to the country’s premier and let the premier choose a new Cabinet. Premier William Lai (賴清德) has publicly signaled he may choose to resign in the coming weeks.

The letter was signed by Presidential Office adviser Wu Li-pei (吳澧培), former Presidential Office adviser Peng Ming-min (彭明敏), Reverend Kao Chun-ming (高俊明) and Nobel Prize laureate Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲). Numerous sources have reported that Wu and Lee, who is also an adviser to the Tsai administration, offered their resignations on Wednesday.

The letter lambasted Tsai for the KMT’s gains in local elections last month, which it said left Taiwan practically “defenseless” to infiltration by Beijing.

While the letter represents the wishes of a relatively small, staunchly pro-independence faction of the DPP, it makes public the long-present infighting within the ruling party, which traditionally favors eventual independence.


Science History Institute

Lee Yuan-tseh, who reportedly resigned as a Presidential Office adviser on Jan. 3, pictured on May 15, 2018.

Temporary ban on Kinmen pork after swine flu discovered in dead pig

Test results on a dead pig washed up on a beach in Kinmen County, mere kilometers from China in the Taiwan Strait, were positive for African swine fever, the Council of Agriculture (CoA) said on Thursday.

All 190 pigs at a farm close to the dead hog’s location tested negative for the virus, according to the Kinmen County Government, leading to speculation the pig washed up on the beach from China.

Pork imports from Kinmen to Taiwan have immediately been halted for two weeks, said CoA Acting Minister Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲).

Taiwan has been gripped by fear that the virus, which is deadly to pigs but does not make humans sick, will spread from China to Taiwan. In the past week, President Tsai and Premier Lai have publicly prioritized preventing the spread of African swine fever into Taiwan.


Credit: CNA

The dead hog was found on a Kinmen beach on Monday, Dec. 31, 2018.

MAC head denies existence of ‘1992 Consensus’

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairman Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said on Thursday there has never been a “1992 Consensus” and Taiwan would only hurt itself were it to acknowledge it.

Speaking in strong language at a regular news conference, Chen said the so-called consensus is being used by Beijing to downgrade Taiwan to governance under its “one country, two systems” model.

Chen claimed that, at a 1992 meeting between KMT and Chinese officials in Hong Kong, Taiwan originally proposed to formally add “the two sides are free to interpret what ‘one China’ means” into the consensus, only to be turned down by China.

The Kuomintang has long interpreted the “1992 Consensus” as both sides agreeing there is ‘one China’ while agreeing to disagree on what that ‘one China’ consists of.

Supreme Court orders retrial for Ma Ying-jeou

Taiwan’s Supreme Court revoked the conviction of former President Ma Ying-jeou on Thursday (馬英九) and sent his case back to the High Court to be retried.

Ma was convicted by the High Court in May 2018 on charges of leaking classified information pertaining to an investigation of an opposition lawmaker. Ma was sentenced to four months in prison for violating Taiwan’s Communication Security and Surveillance Act.

However, the Supreme Court said on Thursday that High Court judges had not clarified many of the facts that led to a guilty verdict in the case.

Ma, who retains popularity among a sound base of KMT supporters, has been the subject of speculation that he may run for a third term as president in the upcoming 2020 elections.


Credit: Reuters / TPG

Ma's case has been bounced back to the High Court.

Read Next: By the Numbers: The Challenges to Building Trust Between Taiwan and China

Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)

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