What is the 1992 Consensus?

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What is the 1992 Consensus?

“The 1992 Consensus” has three meanings:

1) The Chinese Communist Party says the “1992 Consensus” means that both Mainland China and Taiwan accept the “One China Principle” and so long as Taiwan’s “leaders” accept this, then the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can carry out “practical relations.”

2) The Chinese Nationalist Party on Taiwan asserts that the “consensus” was that “There is One China, both sided can interpret it as they wish” without having to commit to either side’s interpretation.

3) The Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan asserts that the “1992 Consensus” never existed. On November 2, 2001, Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian told a former U.S. Defense Secretary, “Nowhere in Taiwan’s official government records is there anything that substantiates Beijing’s claim that the two sides reached a consensus in 1992 on the ‘one China’ principle.” Explaining his position, President Chen added, “Recognizing the ‘one China’ principle means giving up the Republic of China. How can I remain president if the Republic of China disappears from the world?”

What does the United States think of the 1992 Consensus?

On August 28, 2001, then-director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), Raymond Burghardt, in a “completely personal analysis of what happened,” explained that in 1992, before talks began between the two unofficial offices of Taiwan and China, “each side exchanged faxes, which had common language in some areas and differing views in others. Then they agreed they would take this exchange of faxes and it would constitute an agreement to hold talks.” Burghardt said. “That’s what happened. Nothing more, nothing less. To me, I’m not sure why you could call that a consensus. I call it an agreement.”

Ambassador Burghardt did not say what he thought the substance of the fax exchange was. (Taipei Times, August 29, Associated Press August 28, 2001) On March 20, 2017, Ambassador Burghardt repeated this view in an interview at the East-West Center in Hawaii. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9yWlqhI1GM)

To us at FAPA, the “1992 Consensus” sounds more like a “1992 Nonsensus.”





3)而民主進步黨主張「九二共識」是根本不存在的。在 2001年11月2日,台灣總統陳水扁告訴一位美國前任國防部長:「在台灣政府的官方紀錄中,並沒有任何東西能夠證實北京對於兩岸已在1992年達成『一中』共識的宣稱。」為了解釋這樣的狀況,陳總統補充道:「承認『一中原則』意味著放棄中華民國。如果中華民國不存在,我怎麼可能繼續當中華民國總統?」


在 2001年8月28日,時任美國在台協會台北辦事處處長薄瑞光根據他的「個人分析」指出,在台灣與中國之間的兩個非官方會對話之前,「兩岸就有以傳真方式做溝通。在某些觀點有找到共同的語言,在某些地方抱持著不同的看法。然後雙方同意在此基礎之上,兩岸達成對話的協議。」薄瑞光如此說道。「這就是當時發生的事。沒有更多,也沒有更少。對我而言,我不知道為何那可以被稱之為『共識』,我認為那僅指是一個雙方的協議。」

根據2001年8月29日台北時報與同年8月28日美聯社兩則報導,薄瑞光大使並沒有對於上述兩岸交換傳真的實質意義多加闡述;在2017年3月20日,薄瑞光大使在夏威夷的東西中心(East-West Center)受訪時,再次重述了上面的觀點。(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9yWlqhI1GM)