Chinese Communist Party and KMT reaffirm 1992 Consensus

They fought a civil war against each other more than six decades ago, but have now come together to stress that a tacit understanding that there is only one China is the basis for ties between mainland China and Taiwan.

Yesterday, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Kuomintang (KMT), an opposition party in Taiwan after the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won power earlier this year, struck a "united front" to declare the importance of the 1992 Consensus.

Each side is entitled to its own interpretation of the tacit understanding that there is one China.

"The importance of the 1992 Consensus... is that it answers a fundamental question, saying that 'the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are one country, rather than two'," said Taiwan Affairs Office director Zhang Zhijun.

"This common basis is the anchor for ensuring the peaceful development of cross-strait relations," he said at a meeting in Beijing yesterday with a visiting Taiwanese delegation led by KMT vice-chairman Chen Chen-hsiang.

The KMT had fled to Taiwan after losing the civil war to the CCP in 1949.

Mr Chen said: "The 1992 Consensus is not just a compass to guide the KMT in deepening cross-strait ties, but it is also widely supported by mainstream public opinion in Taiwan."

He said the KMT faces immense difficulties after losing power to the DPP, but will continue to strive to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait to benefit people on both sides of the strait.

While both the CCP and KMT recognise the 1992 Consensus, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who is from the DPP, has not done so since taking office in May, prompting Beijing to cut off all official communication with the island.

Under the "new circumstances", the CCP and KMT said they will use their party-to-party platform to continue cooperation across all fields, especially in people-to-people exchanges.

They will discuss issues linked to the rights and interests of people on both sides of the strait and help them solve their problems.

Mr Chen had earlier told Taiwanese media the main aim of his visit is to fight for the rights of groups such as Taiwanese businessmen and students and those in Taiwan's tourism and fishery industries.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 24, 2016, with the headline 'Chinese Communist Party and KMT reaffirm 1992 Consensus'. Print Edition | Subscribe