A symposium to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Consensus in Beijing, Nov. 10. (File photo/CNS)
Authorities on both sides of the Taiwan Strait 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's National Congress for the first time.
To seek and set political foundations for cross-strait 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, while tacitly acknowledging that each side has its own interpretation of this term.
The ARATS and the SEF are non-governmental organizations that have been entrusted to handle cross-strait affairs by the 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, the first public meeting between the two organizations' leaders.
The 1992 Consensus also enabled the historic meeting between leaders of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese Nationalist Party or Kuomintang in April 2005, the first such meeting in six decades. The two parties reached the "common wish for peaceful cross-strait development," which has set a clear direction and laid the foundation for cross-strait relations.
Under the 1992 Consensus, the ARATS and the SEF resumed talks in June 2008 after a suspension of nine years. Some 18 agreements, including the landmark Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, have been reached since then.
The 1992 Consensus serves not only as a key for opening the door to cross-strait talks, but also as an anchor for the region's stability and a foundation for future peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Strait.
Areas to be explored in the next phase of cross-strait rapprochement include establishing a cross-strait confidence-building mechanism for military security, and reaching a peace agreement through consultation.