Monday, May 16, 2005

The 1992 Consensus

The 1992 Consensus
Down the Memory Hole
Bevin Chu
May 15, 2005

"We did not reach a consensus back in 1992. It was a meeting and a discussion, in which we said that both sides are to have their own interpretation of what One-China means. How can it be called a consensus when we are each going to have our own interpretation? He should just tell them the truth: that there was no consensus. Anything else would be dishonest. Besides, it's already 2005 --so why is he even mentioning 1992?"
-- Annette Lu, "DPP denies existence of 1992 consensus," ETtoday, May 12, 2005

The 1992 Consensus

You have to hand it to the Taiwan independence leadership. They may not have the first clue about how to govern a nation, but their ability to look the public straight in the eye and lie without batting an eyelash is unparalleled.

Is Annette Lu really unaware that Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Ku Chen-Fu and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) President Wang Daohan reached a consensus back in 1992, based on the "One China Principle?"

Of course not.

Lu knows perfectly well that Ku and Wang reached a consensus on the core issue, the only issue that Taiwan independence Quislings really care about, whether Taiwan and the mainland are integral parts of One China. Lu knows perfectly well their consensus was that Taiwan and the mainland are integral parts of One China. Hence Lu's stubborn attempt to deny an obvious truth.

Wang Daohan and Ku Chen-fu, Singapore 1993

The "1992 Consensus" was clearly expressed in letters exchanged between the SEF and ARATS, and fully documented in the SEF's summary of talks held in Singapore between Ku Chen-Fu and Wang Daohan in 1993.

The "1992 Consensus" states that:

Taipei and Beijing agree that there is only One China. Taipei and Beijing agree that this One China includes both Taiwan and the mainland. Taipei and Beijing disagree about who is the rightful government of this One China, and its official name. Taipei considers itself the rightful government of this One China and refers to it as the Republic of China. Beijing considers itself the rightful government of this One China and refers to it as the People's Republic of China.

What part of "One China" doesn't Annette Lu understand?

One China, Two Interpretations

The "1992 Consensus" is also referred to as "One China, Two Interpretations," or more precisely, "One China, Different Expressions." The latter translation, "One China, Different Expressions" actually captures the "One China" essence more clearly than the looser but more common translation, "One China, Two Interpretations."

Annette Lu is attempting to claim that "Two Interpretations" means "Two completely different understandings, and no area of agreement whatsoever." Lu is attempting to equate "Two Interpretations" with "No Consensus." Lu is attempting to pretend that "Two Interpretations" is not preceded by "One China."

Annette Lu to the contrary notwithstanding, a consensus was reached about the primary issue of One China. The secondary issue of who should be in charge of this One China and what this One China should be called does not negate the consensus that the island of Taiwan is an integral part of China.

Needless to say, Taiwan independence Quislings like Annette Lu don't really give a damn about who the rightful ruler of One China is or what One China's official name ought to be. They merely wish to generate artificial confusion where no confusion exists, in order to claim that no consensus was reached about One China.

The simple fact is, if Ku Chen-fu and Wang Daohan had not reached a consensus in 1992, their exchanges would never have become known as the "1992 Consensus." Their exchanges would have been reduced to the status of bureaucratic routines that led nowhere, to be filed away and eventually forgotten. Their exchanges are remembered only because government officials and the general public on both sides of the Taiwan Strait understood that there was a consensus. It is only because Ku and Wang reached a consensus that everyone remembers the event and gave it a name.

Big Brother and the Memory Hole

The 1992 Consensus is an undeniable historical fact. Annette Lu can't wish it away merely because she doesn't like it. One could say that Annette Lu's attempt to deny the existence of the "1992 Consensus" is akin to the behavior of a philandering spouse caught in flagrante delicto, who brazenly insists that "This isn't what it looks like!"

Such a comparison however would be much too frivolous. In fact, Annette Lu's attempt to brazenly deny that "1992 Consensus" ever existed is disturbingly reminiscent of the behavior of O'Brien, the inquisitor for Big Brother in George Orwell's "1984":

Richard Burton as O'Brien, an inquisitor for Big Brother, in "Nineteen Eighty-Four" (1984, directed by Michael Radford, written by George Orwell and Michael Radford)
Information Retrieval Officer

Michael Palin as Jack, an "Information Retrieval Officer" for the Ministry of Information, in "Brazil" (1985, directed by Terry Gilliam, written by Terry Gilliam, Tom Stoppard, Charles McKeown)

O'Brien stopped him with a movement of the hand.

"You believed that you had seen unmistakable documentary evidence... There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.'

An oblong slip of newspaper had appeared between O'Brien's fingers. For perhaps five seconds it was within the angle of Winston's vision. It was a photograph, and there was no question of its identity. It was the photograph. It was another copy of the photograph... "

'It exists!' he cried.

'No,' said O'Brien.

He stepped across the room. There was a memory hole in the opposite wall. O'Brien lifted the grating. Unseen, the frail slip of paper was whirling away on the current of warm air; it was vanishing in a flash of flame. O'Brien turned away from the wall.

'Ashes,' he said. 'Not even identifiable ashes. Dust. It does not exist. It never existed.'

'But it did exist! It does exist! It exists in memory. I remember it. You remember it.'

'I do not remember it,' said O'Brien.

O'Brien was looking down at him speculatively. More than ever he had the air of a teacher taking pains with a wayward but promising child.

'There is a Party slogan dealing with the control of the past,' he said. 'Repeat it, if you please.'

'"Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past,"' repeated Winston obediently.

“‘Who controls the present controls the past,”’ said O'Brien, nodding his head with slow approval. ‘Is it your opinion, Winston, that the past has real existence?’

Again the feeling of helplessness descended upon Winston. His eyes flitted towards the dial. He not only did not know whether ‘yes’ or ‘no’ was the answer that would save him from pain; he did not even know which answer he believed to be the true one.

O'Brien smiled faintly. ‘I will put it more precisely. Does the past exist concretely, in space? Is there somewhere or other a place, a world of solid objects, where the past is still happening?’


‘Then where does the past exist, if at all?’

‘In records. It is written down.’

‘In records. And—?’

‘In the mind. In human memories.’

‘In memory. Very well, then. We, the Party, control all records, and we control all memories. Then we control the past, do we not?’

‘But how can you stop people remembering things?’ cried Winston again momentarily forgetting the dial. ‘It is involuntary. It is outside oneself. How can you control memory? You have not controlled mine!’

O'Brien's manner grew stern again. He laid his hand on the dial.

‘On the contrary,’ he said, ‘you have not controlled it... You are here because you... believe that reality is something objective, external, existing in its own right... that the nature of reality is self-evident... But... reality exists... only in the mind of the Party... Whatever the Party holds to be the truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party.’

The Taiwan independence Green Terror has already peaked and is currently on the decline, thank god. The prospect of a future in which the likes of Annette Lu can have her hand on the dial, while lecturing us that reality exists only in the mind of the Party, that whatever the Party holds to be the truth is truth, is too appalling to contemplate.

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