WASHINGTON (CNA) – The United States on Wednesday called on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to conduct constructive dialogue to settle their differences, after Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) again emphasized the “1992 consensus” as Beijing’s basis for cross-strait talks.
“We encourage the authorities in Beijing and Taipei to engage in constructive dialogue that seeks a peaceful resolution of differences acceptable to the people of both sides of the Taiwan Strait on the basis of dignity and respect,” said Grace Choi, spokesperson for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
“We continue to urge patience, flexibility and creativity on both sides,” she added.
The United States has an enduring interest in cross-strait peace and stability and remains committed to its one-China policy, based on the three joint communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act, she said.
Choi was responding to remarks made by Xi at the opening session of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on Wednesday, in which he mentioned the “1992 consensus” four times and reiterated that China has the determination, confidence and ability to defeat any activities related to Taiwan independence.
“Recognize the historical fact of the 1992 consensus and that the two sides both belong to one China, and then our two sides can conduct dialogue to address, through discussion, the concerns of the people of both sides,” he said.
The consensus refers to an understanding reached between Taipei and Beijing in 1992 that there is only one China, with the two sides free to interpret its meaning.
Beijing has insisted that the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) explicitly accept the consensus – and in effect that Taiwan is part of “one China” – as the political foundation for the continuation of relatively warm relations under her predecessor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
Tsai, however, has only been willing to say that she respects the historical fact that the cross-strait talks took place and that some understandings were reached. •
By Rita Cheng and Evelyn Kao