people of Taiwan do not accept the "One-China Principle"
the U.S. media was quick to pick up on Taiwan President Chen
Shui-bian's 6/27 statement that his Administration is willing
to accept the 1992 formula "One China, respective interpretations"
in dealing with cross-strait issues, the media was not so
quick to note that Chen also made it clear that he and the
people of Taiwan do not accept China’s current interpretation.
that China insists on an interpretation centered on its "one-China
principle," which downgrades Taiwan to a local level
government under the People’s Republic of China. This, Chen
said clearly, is unacceptable to the people of Taiwan.
chair of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, noted that Chen’s
6/27 statement was consistent in spirit and content with the
remarks he made at his 6/20 press conference. There Chen emphasized
Taiwan’s democratic development and the need to "respect
the free choice of the people on both sides." He stated
his willingness to work from the "existing foundation"
reached in 1992, but went on to note that "the opposite
shore does not think that …a consensus was reached."
that he hoped that the inter-party cross-strait committee
he has asked Nobel Laureate Lee Yuan-tseh to pull together
will "work to reach a national consensus" among
the ruling and opposition parties. "This will definitely
be an arduous task, since we are a democracy and a pluralistic
society which allows diverse ideologies," Chen noted.
"However, as long as we take the first step in making
the inter-party mechanism work to reach a national consensus,
we will give the other side of the strait a chance to understand
the democratic and pluralistic nature of Taiwan society which
is so different from theirs. The mainland authorities allow
only one opinion in the entire nation, and from the top down
and from the bottom up, only one opinion is allowed. But in
Taiwan, we can’t do that."
about a "confederation" option, Chen replied, "Whether
it will work is heavily dependent upon the decision of the
people. After all, it is their will and freedom of choice
that must be respected. I do not feel that the future of Taiwan
and cross-strait relations are my personal decisions, nor
do I believe it to be within the monopoly of a particular
party. The people must speak for themselves. Only the 23 million
residents of Taiwan have the right to decide which way they
will go in the future."
noted that President Clinton had mentioned "for the first
time this year the fourth pillar of U.S. policy toward China
– that such issues should be resolved with the consent of
the people of Taiwan."
of Chen’s press conference and meeting of 6/27, see www.oop.gov.tw/english2000/index.htm.
translation of Tsai Ing-wen’s press conference. For Chinese,
information, contact Michael Fonte at FAPA 202-547-3686
Affairs Council Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen held a press conference
today (6/28) regarding the "one China" problem.
The main points of the conference are as follows:
President's comments yesterday (6/27/00) were consistent
in spirit and content with the remarks he made at the June
20 press conference.
both sides sent representatives to meet in Hong Kong in
October 1992, they engaged in comprehensive discussion about
how to solve the "one China" problem but could
not reach any consensus. Hence our side suggested that "each
side interpret the issue itself" and thereby temporarily
put the issue aside. China then sent us a fax, expressing
that it "respected and accepted our suggestion."
This was the process whereby both sides had disagreed on
the "one China" problem then reached a consensus
that each side would orally "interpret the issue itself."
"One China, with each side having its own interpretation"
is the term we use to describe this process.
two sides have never reached a consensus on the "one
China principle." The President proposed in his May
20th speech that both sides jointly deal with
the future "one China" problem. He hoped that
both sides could first discuss the future "one China"
problem, then deal with the problem of whether both sides
will accept the "one China principle."
made its stance very clear yesterday in a Foreign Ministry
press conference. China has always explained the "one
China, with each side having its own interpretation"
description to be its "one China principle," and
to this day insists that "there is only one China in
the world, Taiwan is a part of China and that the PRC is
the only legitimate government representing China."
This is a stance we cannot accept.