To-may-to. To-mah-to. If you enjoying reading infuriatingly obfuscated political speak, you need to be following this Wikileaks/’92 Consensus story:
While President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has reiterated that the so-called “1992 consensus” was reached by Taiwan and China in 1992 to the effect that each side recognizes “one China, with each side having its own interpretation,” US cables recently released by WikiLeaks show that Chinese officials and academics clearly have a different understanding on what constitutes the “consensus.”
So, here’s how I see this– and I could be totally wrong. If I am, feel free to set me straight. But it goes something like this…
Way back in 1992, the PRC and ROC got together for a cross-strait chat. Both sides made their points, and it ended in the PRC basically telling the ROC to go fly a kite.
The KMT came out of this, hoping not to lose face politically, twisting it into a half-win. “Hey guys, no, don’t worry, we got this. Yeah, they’re cool, ya know, we just said, ‘Yeah, you got your story. We’ve got ours,’ but everything is cool.”
This lunacy was further wrenched, wringing out the obvious truth, into a nice, dry political buzz word: “the 1992 Consensus”– a.k.a. “The No-Consensus Consensus.”
Because, as far as China is concerned, then and now, there is nothing to discuss: There is one China. It is controlled and governed by the PRC. Taiwan is a province of that country. The PRC is allowing a local government of that province to play some meaningless game of political charades before it all ends in an ultimate unification.
Taiwan is the little grandchild tugging on Grandpa China’s pantleg. Sort of annoying, but he’s just letting it slide because, hey, it’s family, and he’s got a lot invested in it carrying on the bloodline.
That’s how China sees it. There is no agree-to-disagree here. It’s a “disagree-to-agree-to-disagree.” See how that works?
President Ma and the KMT keep hammering this “1992 Consensus” line like a whack-a-mole game, and I just don’t get it. First of all, how has this been spun as consensus? Or an accomplishment? Or a legit policy stance?
Do I think either party in Taiwan has a much stronger leg to stand on? Eh, not really. But this whole “consensus” mumbojumbo is for the birds.
Yeah, the PRC kind of has the ROC by the balls here. But hey, that’s what happens when you lose a civil war in a continent-sized country and retreat to a tiny little island. The window to announce independence probably closed in the early 1970s.
What can be done now? Well, hopefully something a little more creative and constructive than basing the most important policy you have on agreeing to disagree, and not even really at that.