Taipei cites 1992 ‘consensus’ re ‘One China interpretation’
We express our heartfelt appreciation and profound thanks to the staunch position of Inquirer publisher Raul Pangalangan in defending freedom of the press and expression (“Only one China—Chinese Embassy spokesperson,” Opinion, 10/27/14).
I fully agree with him: “[E]veryone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers.”
I have no intention of engaging the spokesperson of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in an argument. However, it is important to let the Philippine general public understand the true situation, the historical facts about the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and how important having its own international space is for Taiwan.
The constitution of the Republic of China (ROC or Taiwan), like that of the Philippines, guarantees freedom of expression. Press Freedom Rankings, published by the US-based Freedom House, ranks Taiwan “free.” The people of Taiwan are proud of a democracy that accommodates differences of opinion and creates dialogue to resolve conflict. Like the Filipinos, they are protected by a constitution that makes possible direct presidential elections and peaceful turnovers of power. In the ROC, freedom of the press and expression is a way of life.
Taiwan and mainland China have moved from confrontation to rapprochement, and from antagonism to dialogue over the past six years. The rationale behind this positive development is based on the 1992 consensus—a tacit agreement between Taipei and Beijing that there is only one China but both sides are free to interpret what “one China” means. The 1992 consensus and the respect for Taiwan’s own international space are key in the development and improvement of cross-strait relations.
Pangalangan welcomes the fact that the ROC and the PRC are both with the Asian Development Bank (ADB). However, we regret to point out that the ROC has been protesting against the ADB conference organizer’s unilateral changing of its membership name to “Taipei, China” after the central bank of the PRC was admitted to the ADB in 1986. Such designation creates the misleading impression that Taiwan is under the jurisdiction of the PRC; the change is not acceptable to our nation. The fact is, Taiwan has never been ruled by the PRC and is not a part of the PRC.
Founded in 1911, the ROC is a charter member of the ADB which was established in 1966. Therefore, we urge the ADB to rectify the denomination of ROC’s membership at the ADB and respect its proper name. By so doing, Taiwan and the PRC, based on mutual respect and on equal footing, may coexist in international organizations so as to enhance Asia-Pacific region’s peace and stability.
The ROC is a country of sovereignty with constitutional democracy; it is time for the PRC to faithfully uphold the 1992 Consensus of “one China, respective interpretations” and forsake the negative habit of bullying the ROC, which is not only hurting the sentiments of the Taiwanese people, but also affecting the peaceful development of cross-strait relations between Taiwan and the PRC.
—PETER C.Y. PAN, spokesperson,
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines
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