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'1992 Consensus' key for cross-Straits ties' peaceful development

( Xinhua )

Updated: 2012-11-27

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Authorities on both sides of the Taiwan Straits have held high-profile symposiums to mark the 20th anniversary of the "1992 Consensus" this month.

Earlier this month, this key agreement covering Chinese mainland-Taiwan relations was incorporated into a keynote report of the Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress for the first time.

Apart from confirming historical facts, the moves helped the two sides consolidate the common stand of opposing "Taiwan independence" and of following the "1992 Consensus," enhancing common commitment to upholding the one-China framework, and further developing peaceful relations.

To seek and set political foundations for cross-Straits negotiations, in November 1992, the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) reached what is called the "1992 Consensus," an agreement that calls for both sides to adhere to the one-China principle.

The ARATS and the SEF are non-governmental organizations that have been entrusted to handle cross-Straits affairs by mainland and Taiwan authorities respectively.

Guided by the consensus, top negotiators from both sides, ARATS President Wang Daohan and SEF Chairman Koo Chen-fu held a historic meeting in Singapore in 1993. It was the first public meeting between the two organizations' leaders.

The "1992 Consensus" also enabled the historic meeting between leaders of the CPC and the Kuomintang in April 2005, the first such gathering in six decades. The two parties reached the "common wish for peaceful cross-Straits development," which has set a clear direction and laid the foundation for cross-Straits relations.

With the "1992 Consensus," the ARATS and the SEF resumed talks in June 2008 after a suspension of nine years. And 18 agreements, including the landmark Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, had been reached since then.

The "1992 Consensus" serves not only as a key for opening the door to cross-Straits talks, but also as an anchor for the region's stability and a foundation for future peaceful development of relations across the Straits.

The core of the agreement is adhering to the one-China principle, while its essence is seeking common ground and shelving differences.

Although the mainland and Taiwan are yet to be reunified, China's territory and sovereignty have always been indivisible and the fact that both sides belong to one China has never changed.

It entails more superior wisdom, more courage and broader perspectives from both sides to tackle tricky issues such as exploring cross-Straits political relations under the special condition that the country is yet to be reunified, establishing a cross-Straits confidence-building mechanism for military security, and reaching a peace agreement through consultation.

As long as the two sides uphold the common stand of opposing "Taiwan independence" and of following the "1992 Consensus," and increase their common commitment to upholding the one-China framework, they can keep sound interaction, shelve differences and solve related problems in a reasonable way.