Wang Yi says the two sides of the Taiwan Strait should face up to their differences. (Photo/CNS)
Mainland China's Taiwan Affairs chief said on Monday that there will be no quick solution to the complicated issues of cross-strait affairs, as the inherent disputes between the two sides are set to be longstanding.
The two sides of the Taiwan Strait should face up to, rather than avoid, their differences and gradually yet actively seek pragmatic measures for settlement, said Wang Yi, director of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, when addressing a seminar held on Monday afternoon to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Consensus.
Wang called on the two sides to draw experiences from the reaching of the consensus.
He urged them to voluntarily take up historical responsibilities in promoting ties, the common well-being of people on both sides and the core interests of the Chinese nation.
In November 1992, China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation reached an agreement that each of the two organizations verbally acknowledge that "both sides of the Taiwan Strait adhere to the one-China principle."
This allowed both sides to essentially stick to their respective beliefs that they are the rightful heirs of the title "China," a claim which traces its roots back to China's civil war between the nationalists (Kuomintang) and the Communist Party of China. The war, in which neither side ever admitted defeat, led to two de-facto states, today's People's Republic of China, which governs the mainland, and the Republic of China, which governs Taiwan.
Wang, also the head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said that the essence of the 1992 Consensus was to expand common ground while setting aside differences and that it inspired essential political courage and wisdom to face up to the issues in a forward-looking manner.
He told attendees of the seminar that the 1992 Consensus had made an irreplaceable contribution in helping the two sides establish mutual trust, dialogue and negotiations and improve cross-strait ties, and it had evolved into an important component of the political foundation for the peaceful development of ties.
Earlier this month, the consensus was incorporated into a CPC National Congress report for the first time, the Taiwan Affairs chief noted.
The report said, "We are ready to conduct exchanges, dialogue and cooperation with any political party in Taiwan as long as it does not seek Taiwan independence and recognizes the one-China principle."
It also provides a statement on major policies covering cross-Strait issues and calls for efforts in increasing common commitment to upholding the one-China framework, strengthening institutional building and making reasonable arrangements under the special condition that the country is yet to be reunified.
"Making reasonable arrangements" means that both sides should take care of each other's concerns instead of imposing their views on each other, while adhering to the legal basis of the one-China principle, in Wang's view.
The statement is a demonstration of the mainland's resolution and sincerity in facing up to the differences and settling disputes step by step, he added.
"No matter how political situations in Taiwan change, we will always consider the 1992 Consensus as the foundation and condition for exchanges with the Taiwan authorities and political parties," Wang said.
Association president Chen Yunlin also addressed the seminar and called on both sides to reach new deals on science, technology and culture exchanges.