China Post editorial on ‘One China’

Yesterday’s China Post had a great editorial by Dr. William Fang entitled “‘One China with different interpretations’ is only option”. Unfortunately the China Post doesn’t include its editorials on their web site for some bizarre reason. But that editorial is pretty close to my current opinions.

The quoted part in the article title refers to what is called the ‘1992 consensus’ which is based on the ground rules for an ROC-PRC meeting in Singapore. While this ‘consensus’ itself has been argued to mean different thing by different people, the most common interpretation of it is that both parties believe there is one China, but each side has a different idea of what that means. Unfortunately this is still a bit vague. Here are some excerpts from Dr. Fang’s editorial:

“[PFP Chairman] James Soong said that ‘one China with different interpretations’ means the recognition of the current and historical status of the Republic of China.”

“Therefore it is suggested that the notion of ‘one China with different interpretations’ should, from now on, replace the vague and controversial ‘1992 consensus’ in talking about ‘one China.'”

“It is strongly suggested that the idea of ‘one China with different interpretations’ be included in the official joint statement signed by Soong and his Communist counterpart.”

“If the Communists really mean what the say in ‘adhering to the 1992 consensus,’ they should have no difficulty agreeing to do so in order to demonstrate their sincerity in respecting the sovereignty of the ROC.”

“Under this formula, both Taipei and Beijing can each claim itself to be the ‘sole, legitimate government of China.'”

“This is a mutually exclusive arrangement, but under it both are treated with parity, being equal political entities. This gives both sides what the want: one China for Beijing, and equality for Taipei.”

This may be hard for Beijing to accept, as they have spent over 30 years trying to convince the world that the ROC government is illegitimate, doesn’t exist, or is otherwise subordinate to the PRC government. If they are willing to accept that the ROC government is legitimate, then a great deal of progress can be made at resolving cross-strait issues. Thank you, Dr. Fang for a very clearly worded expression of this.

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