Ma-Xi meet transcripts released to settle row

TAIPEI, Taiwan - The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), in an attempt to mollify speculation revolving around President Ma Ying-jeou's alleged omission of "one China, respective interpretations" in the Ma-Xi meeting Saturday, released the transcript of the speech that Ma made during the closed-door meeting yesterday.

"President Ma was the first to utter 'Republic of China' (R.O.C.), 'the R.O.C. Constitution,' the '1992 Consensus,' 'one China, respective interpretations' and to underline the existence of two separate sovereign governments across the Taiwan Strait in front of a Chinese leader," MAC head Andrew Hsia stated.

The transcripts for the closed-door summit reveal that Ma did mention "one China, respective interpretations."

Of the terms, Ma mentioned only the "1992 Consensus" during his opening speech prior to the summit, which led to questions over whether Ma later neglected to advocate for the R.O.C.'s sovereignty during the closed-door meeting with mainland leader Xi Jinping.

"The objective of the development of cross-strait relations is to see the continued maintenance of peace and prosperity," said Ma during the closed-door meeting with Xi, according to the released transcript. "The '1992 Consensus' is a cornerstone in achieving that objective."

Xinhua News Agency reported the perspective of the head of China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), Zhang Zhijun, who wrote how Ma had talked about the origin of the "1992 Consensus" at the meeting.

The article stated that Ma specifically underlined that the "1992 Consensus" involves both sides of the Strait in maintaining the "one China" principle.

Taiwan's interpretation of the "1992 Consensus" at the summit did not mention the "two Chinas," "one China and one Taiwan," or "Taiwan independence" viewpoints as these "are not welcomed perspectives in Taiwan," said Zhang's article, sparking debate in Taiwan.

In the transcript of Ma's speech it said that the "two Chinas," "one China and one Taiwan," or "Taiwan independence" are policies not recognised by the R.O.C. Constitution. Ma claimed that this clarifies Taiwan's position, and is also a consensus reached by the majority of Taiwanese citizens.

Democratic Taiwan Not Forgotten

Presidential Office spokesman Charles Chen said that Ma also stated that the development and success of Taiwanese democracy remains the "pride of the Chinese nation."

"Taiwan's democracy wasn't omitted in the talks," Chen said, and encouraged Democratic Progressive Party presidential front-runner Tsai Ing-wen to read the transcripts carefully. Tsai had accused Ma of failing to advocate in favour of Taiwan's sovereignty or mention the R.O.C. in his talks with Xi, an accusation that sparked Kuomintang caucus demands of an apology.

The meeting between Ma and Xi remained the focus of questions yesterday when Ma met with the winner of the first National Golden Seal Awards.

While Ma did not respond directly to questions on his "one China, respective interpretations," remarks, he said he brought up the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with Xi, requesting that the mainland leader support Taiwanese participation.

It was also revealed by Ma that the idea for the Ma-Xi summit was initially proposed by the mainland two years ago. He maintained that the summit was not in any way conducted for party political reasons, but instead for the "development of cross-strait relations."