What they said ...

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 April, 2008, 12:00am

Yesterday's exchange about the 1992 consensus

Chen Shui-bian: 'There is no way [I can] accept such a term as 1992 consensus because there are three uncertainties about this: first, whether the 1992 consensus factually existed is uncertain; second, its exact content is uncertain; and third, its future development and possible change are uncertain.'

Ma Ying-jeou: 'If there is no 1992 consensus, it would have been impossible to hold the Koo-Wang talks in 1993 [in Singapore]. Because if the other side [the mainland] was aware of such a consensus, they were willing to talk and hold the talks in a third area.'

Mr Chen: 'When we talk about the 1992 consensus, we say it is 'one China' with different interpretations [of what that China stands for], but to the Chinese communists, they don't want different interpretations, and they only want one China. I said this because being the president and national leader, I must safeguard the sovereignty of the nation.'

Mr Ma: 'If the other side says no and that there is only one China but no different interpretations, then sorry, we won't be able to talk anymore because there is no way we can continue to talk. If the other side says there are different interpretations, shall we talk? Sure, we should talk. So, don't worry, President Chen, you hand me the baton and I will not mess it up. Please let me try. It is impossible for me to betray Taiwan. I love Taiwan as much as you do.'