Candidates running for the chairmanship of Taiwan's main opposition Kuomintang at an election this month have advocated developing relations with the Chinese mainland under the 1992 Consensus, a crucial cross-Straits agreement that recognizes the one-China principle.
How to restore relations across the Taiwan Straits became the focus during a television debate on Saturday between the four candidates for the KMT leadership in an election scheduled for Sept 25.
The 1992 Consensus refers to an agreement reached by the two sides in 1992, in which both sides recognize there is only one China－with both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan belonging to it
The 1992 Consensus refers to an agreement reached by the two sides in 1992, in which both sides recognize there is only one China－with both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan belonging to it.
KMT Chairman Chiang Chi-chen, who is running for reelection, said the two sides of the Taiwan Straits are linked by profound history, culture and blood ties despite having different systems of government and both sides should work together for peace and mutual benefit.
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Advocating "breaking the ice" across the Straits on the basis of adhering to the 1992 Consensus, he said the KMT chairman should lead the party on the right path and put cross-Straits relations back on track.
The KMT should work to ensure peace and security across the Straits and ensure the two sides do not fall into war, he added.
Eric Chu Li-luan, who was KMT chairman from 2015 to 2016, also made cross-Straits relations a priority and advocated promoting relations with the mainland on the basis of the consensus.
He said the two sides should build goodwill gradually and people should know that the KMT has the courage to promote peace across the Straits for the sake of regional security, Taiwan's prosperity and the future of the next generation.
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Cho Po-yuan, the former head of the island's Changhua county, said the two sides enjoyed peaceful development and common prosperity from 2008 to 2016, which was damaged after the Democratic Progressive Party, which had abandoned the consensus, came to power.
Only by returning to the consensus can the problems in cross-Straits relations be solved, he added.
When elaborating on the 1992 Consensus, Sun Yat-sen School President Chang Ya-chung said both sides advocated adhering to the one-China principle and seeking national reunification.
He said if elected, he would say loudly "Taiwan people are also Chinese" in terms of the identity of the island's people.