Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Notes on the 1992 Consensus and KMT-CCP United Front Against Taiwan + Links

You'd be hard pressed to come up with a better name for a tourist transportation vehicle than this one.

The Diplomat offered a piece on the faux 1992 Consensus by a former China Post writer, Katherine Wei. Most of it is filled with conventional pro-KMT wrongnesses...
The so-called “1992 consensus” refers to an understanding Taiwan and China achieved during a meeting in Hong Kong the same year, that there is only one China and both sides are free to interpret the meaning. Namely, each side considers itself to be the true government of a single China, but Beijing is today worried that Tsai is about the break the post-1992 status quo.
No understanding was reached in Hong Kong. It grows tiresome to keep saying that. Not only was there no consensus, but Beijing still doesn't accept the codocil of "two interpretations." That's been out in public for years. Why do people keep writing this nonsense?

Speaking of nonsense...
For one panicky moment, many in Taiwan thought the country was going to war with China. And then the tension seemed to subside, as the government announced an investigation into the missile’s firing and the fisherman’s death; China seemed to be momentarily pacified.
Nope, nobody in Taiwan thought this. I was sitting in the studio at ICRT recording a show when the texts started flashing round the internet. Not a single one said ZOMG WAR!!! Instead, they were all along the lines, mostly amused, that the military had screwed up again and fired a missile over Kaohsiung. We didn't know then that the fishing boat captain had lost his life, killing all possibility of humor.

There wasn't any tension. And none subsided. But this, ironically, bears on the 1992 Consensus as an example of United Front KMT+CCP tactics against Taiwan:
China’s reaction was speedy; it demanded to know Taiwan’s reason for firing the missile. Although Taiwan’s Navy Vice Admiral Mei Chia-shu explained that the missile was fired during an unsupervised moment during a drill inspection, and that there was no political motive behind the accident, TAO Director Zhang Zhijun once again brought up the “1992 consensus.” “While China has continued to stress that the two sides must maintain peaceful development of relations under the political basis of the 1992 consensus, this is a very serious incident,” said Zhang.
It was probably just a coincidence that KMT legislators and officials demanded that the government talk to China, while China was demanding to know the reason for the missile. It is almost as if the two sides were coordinating...

Note how the China spokesman comes back to the 1992 Consensus, China's clever way of getting the international media to enforce its one China policy. The phrase "1992 Consensus" became currency after Su Chi used it in the run-up to the 2000 elections. But it was actually first used in a PRC document in 1997, as someone pointed out the other day in a discussion group. It was then picked up in English by some pro-PRC writers in the very late 1990s, but I have lost those links. It was Su Chi who promoted it, but he had picked up signals from Beijing, it seems. After Lien Chan's visit to China, as many have noted, usage picked up. The truth is that the 1992 Consensus is just another United Front tactic against Taiwan...

It is interesting that by 2001 there was even "academic" discussion of the 1992 Consensus from a clearly pro-China writer, which is actually a useful recapitulation of events, though its interpretations should be ignored. However, prior to 1997, when the KMT claims that this "Consensus" had been in force for 5 years, there do not appear to be any academic articles or analyses in English of it.

You'd think, if they'd agreed on something, there would have been an announcement. It would have been huge...

Nothing was ever agreed upon. There was no Consensus. It didn't exist until Su Chi promoted it. When the KMT and CCP insist that Tsai adhere to "the Consensus", which no democratic procedure ever affirmed, they are really demanding that she say Taiwan is part of China.

Not that the international media is ever going to lay out any of this complexity, or ever note that the "Consensus" is the alleged product of the unelected representatives of two authoritarian parties. Instead, by using the word "Consensus" it makes it seem that there is something everyone has agreed upon, which Tsai has violated by not adhering to it.

That's a score for China.
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Jenna Cody said...

At least she used "so-called" and put "1992 consensus" in scare quotes, which is...baby steps?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting me know about The Tyee!