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Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou defends One China policy

President Ma urges Taipei to uphold the 1992 Consensus with Beijing if it wants to promote peaceful cross-strait relations and development.

TAIPEI: Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou emphasised the island must continue to uphold the 1992 Consensus with China’s Communist Party in order to promote cross-strait relations and development, as he marked the 22nd anniversary of the historic talks between Taipei and Beijing in Singapore.

Described by Mr Ma as the pillar for peaceful cross-strait development, the Consensus states there is only one China. It is an agreement reached by the two parties ahead of the 1993 cross-strait talks between Taipei’s Koo Chen-fu and Beijing’s Wang Daohan - the first meeting between the two parties since they split in 1949.

However, the meaning of one China is open to different interpretations.

During his speech at the Mainland Affairs Council on Wednesday (Apr 29), Mr Ma highlighted the agreement has allowed Taiwan more flexibility in dealing with the mainland and, as a result, led to booming cross-strait trade and investment.

"Based on the past 23 years of experience in cross-strait development, it has been vindicated that if both sides uphold the 1992 Consensus, cross-strait relations would steadily move forward,” said the Taiwanese president. “But if one side doesn't adhere to the consensus, cross-strait relations would become volatile and deteriorate."

During his speech, Mr Ma also jabbed at Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman and presidential candidate Tsai Ing Wen.

Ms Tsai has pledged to maintain the status quo between the two sides if she wins the presidency, but refused to accept the 1992 Consensus as the pro-independence party's China policy – an act that Ma warned could put cross-strait ties in jeopardy.

The president’s remark came ahead of a meeting between Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on May 4 – the first between the leaders of the two parties in six years.