The legislative caucus of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) has urged party members to abide by the principle of the "1992 consensus" when attending a cross-Taiwan Strait forum early next month.
The legislative caucus said in a statement issued Friday that the caucus and many party members are worried about the development of cross-strait relations since President Tsai Ing-wen (???) took office on May 20.
It said the party should insist on the "1992 consensus" principle of "one China, different interpretations" when it attends the forum to underscore the party's edge in handling cross-strait issues.
"Normal exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are necessary, but one should not lose sight of the basic stance," it said.
The KMT lost both the presidential and legislative elections early this year, the statement said, and because "public will is the only way to return to power" and cross-strait relations have far-reaching implications for Taiwan, the promotion of any major policy on cross-strait ties must wait for a public consensus.
"Before setting any major policies or taking part in major events related to cross-strait relations, the party's top leaders must fully communicate with the party caucus and listen to views of grassroots members to achieve a consensus," the caucus said.
The statement came amid misgivings over a likely meeting between KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (???) and Communist Party of China General Secretary Xi Jinping (???) ahead of an annual conference between the two parties scheduled for Nov. 2-3 in Beijing.
This year's conference is titled the "Cross-Strait Peaceful Development Forum."
The caucus is worried that Hung could make remarks hinting that the party sides with China during the meeting, given that she has previously advocated a "one China, common interpretation" policy for cross-strait relations, which had drawn public misgivings.
Her views were widely seen to have deviated from former President Ma Ying-jeou's "one country, different interpretations" concept in defining the "1992 consensus" that, in the party's mind, reflects more of a difference in the position of Taipei and Beijing on cross-strait ties.
The consensus had served as a pillar of cross-strait exchanges before Tsai took office in May and refused to endorse it.
The legislative caucus met with Hung earlier this week, asking her to reiterate the "free interpretation of one China" when visiting Beijing.
Some also wanted her to spell out "the Republic of China" to allow Chinese leaders, including Xi, to understand the public sentiment of the Taiwanese people.
Hung pledged earlier this week that she will not mention "one China, common interpretation" while in Beijing.
She also said she had not decided on what to discuss with Xi but will allow herself "room for flexibility" when the two meet.
"It depends. I will do what I can, and should, to achieve our goals in Beijing," she said.
As relations across the Taiwan Strait have cooled to "freezing point," with all official channels of communication suspended, "isn't it our duty, as a responsible political party, to figure out ways of doing something for the people of Taiwan?" Hung asked.
"The media and our lawmakers have given me quite a number of suggestions as to what to talk about (with Xi), and I'm keeping them all in mind," she said.
Meanwhile, the KMT said Friday that the party's stance on cross-strait exchanges is "in sync with" its party's legislative caucus.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel