The 1992 Consensus, a Fabricated Continuation of China's Civil War

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Wednesday June 22, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

China's Civil War ended in 1949 when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) defeated the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and drove them into exile. Call them Diaspora, a rump government or a government in exile, the KMT came and set up a one-party state on Taiwan (then vacated by Japan); there they licked their wounds vowing that they would return and take China. If they could not hold China when they were in China, then of course there was no way that the KMT could come back and retake China. Fortunately the Korean War broke out and the presence of the US Seventh Fleet in the Taiwan Strait saved the KMT from this embarrassing dilemma.

The year 1952 came and went and in the San Francisco Peace Treaty of that year, Japan formally gave up Taiwan, but the treaty left unsaid to whom Taiwan was to be given, i.e. to the People's Republic of China (PRC), the Republic of China (ROC) or even the Taiwanese. By this time, the KMT's one party state, the ROC, was a founding member of the United Nations (UN) and even sat on its Security Council. It supposedly represented China. However, in 1971, that also changed; the ROC was replaced by the PRC as representing China. Later still in 1979, the United States (US), one of the ROC's staunchest allies switched its embassy to Beijing and joined the chorus stating that the PRC represents China.

What to do? Eventually the KMT in ever increasing isolation and with growing protests from the Taiwanese was forced to lift Martial Law and allow a multi-party state (1987). With Taiwanese being allowed to elect members to the Legislative Yuan in 1992, and the future hope of them eventually electing their president, the KMT began talking once again to their former enemy the CCP. This is the basis of the bogus 1992 Consensus, a phrase coined in the year 2000 by Su Chi and endorsed by Ma Ying-jeou. What, however, was really happening and why?

By officially endorsing the bogus 1992 consensus, with each side of the Taiwan Strait agreeing to differ on their interpretation of "one China" Ma was returning things to the pre-1949 Civil War where the KMT and the CCP were battling to impose their vision of what was and who controlled China. The Taiwanese were completely shut out from this process; only the KMT and the CCP had a say.

Here also begins Ma's duplicity. In one breadth, he states that the 23 million Taiwanese will determine their own future, but he creates a scenario where they must either take over China (make it the ROC) or submit to China (become part of the PRC). He shuts them out from a third choice that of just being Taiwan. Ma claims that he will not attack the PRC, all well and good, how could he? However the PRC claims the opposite, that it will attack Taiwan if it chooses a different path than that Ma set in the bogus 1992 consensus. This is the Chinese Civil War reopened with either the KMT or the CCP winning, only everyone knows how the deck is stacked on who will win.

Ma plays a dangerous and duplicitous game, reopening the Civil War under false pretenses with only one end in view. In this game, he must try to cajole, wheedle, or deceive the Taiwanese out of a third choice, to be themselves. By recent polls, most Taiwanese have no desire to join the PRC, and since their real consensus of 1996, they have chosen to elect their own president democratically. Ma, however, must somehow make them so dependent on the PRC that they will think that they have no choice but to elect to join it. Ma claims that he is not seeking unification, but the only choice he leaves Taiwanese is "one China" be it under the PRC or the sham ROC.

In this scenario, the US has maintained an enigmatic stance that Taiwan's status is "undetermined." It should here be noted that the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) of 1979 is the Taiwan Relations Act and not the ROC Relations Act. By this act the US has maintained de facto diplomatic relations with the governing authorities on Taiwan. It further states that the US will provide arms to Taiwan (not the ROC) so that no other countries will unilaterally dispose of it. Taiwanese must further realize the fullness of what the 1996 (not the 1992)consensus gives them. With it they can decide their future; it does not have to be within the confines that Ma Ying-jeou wants to limit it. In this, they must realize that they will never be able to enter the UN under the name of ROC; that was settled and denied in 1971. But there are other names. They must also realize that by maintaining the 1947 Constitution of the ROC and accepting Ma's bogus 1992 consensus, they are being dragged back into a long decided past Civil War that was between the KMT and the CCP and not the Taiwanese. It is time for Taiwanese to see their president for what he is.