Tensions with China worse than under old DPP regime: ex-KMT official

Taipei--The state of Taiwan's relations with China is worse today than it was under the previous Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration under Chen Shui-bian (???) about a decade ago, said a former official in a Kuomintang (KMT) government.

Tensions in cross-strait ties under the Tsai Ing-wen (???) administration are deeper than during the Chen years (2000-2008) because of the weakness of the KMT, argued Su Chi (??), a former National Security Council secretary-general and Mainland Affairs Council chief, at a forum Tuesday.

During the Chen administration, the KMT -- seen as a China-friendly party -- was able to act as a counterbalance to the independence-leaning DPP, he said.

But today's weaker KMT has been unable to serve the same purpose, he said, arguing that the situation could lead to deteriorating cross-Taiwan Strait ties.

Su, meanwhile, came up with "three noes" to describe current cross-strait relations: "no trust, no communication and no buffer."

He said there has been widespread concern over President Tsai's stance on the "1992 consensus" but he did not see the term as "that important" and described "mutual trust" as the bigger problem in relations between the two sides.

Although the KMT and the Communist Party of China (CPC) had the "1992 consensus" as a bridge, the key to better ties was the five years the two parties spent (2000-2005) gradually establishing mutual trust, said Su, who currently serves as chairman of the think tank Taipei Forum.

The current lack of a bridge of communication between the DPP and the CPC reflects the lack of mutual trust, Su said.

Su served as the head of the Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council from 1999-2000 under the administration of Lee Teng-hui (???) and as secretary-general of the National Security Council from 2008-2010 under the administration of Ma Ying-jeou (???).

Cross-strait relations have cooled since Tsai took office in May 2016, mainly due to her refusal to heed Beijing's calls to recognize the "1992 consensus" as the sole political foundation for cross-strait exchanges.

The "1992 consensus" refers to a tacit understanding reached in 1992 between China and Taiwan, which was then under a KMT government, that there is only one China, with both sides free to interpret what that means.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel