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"1992 Consensus" crucial for peaceful development: Taiwan leader

TAIPEI, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou said the "1992 Consensus," was crucial for the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations.

On Friday, he said the "1992 Consensus" was a historical reality that served as the basis for trust and exchange between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland.

Speaking at a symposium held to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the "1992 Consensus," Ma said the event was important for three reasons.

Firstly, Taiwan authorities want to use the event to reaffirm the existence of the "1992 Consensus" in history and make a correct judgment of it.

Secondly, they also want to establish the fact that the "1992 Consensus" is the basis for trust and exchange between Taiwan and the mainland.

Thirdly, Taiwan authorities want to make it clear to all sides that the "1992 Consensus" is crucial for the peaceful development of cross-Strait ties.

Ma, who once worked as a member of the island's authorities on cross-Strait affairs, witnessed the birth of the "1992 Consensus."

He said that the "1992 Consensus" was not just a verbal phrase or an idea created out of thin air by someone, but it existed in formal correspondence between the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS).

In November 1992, the ARATS and the SEF reached a common understanding that each of the two organizations should express verbally that "both sides of the Taiwan Straits adhere to the One-China Principle."

Founded in 1991 and 1990, respectively, the ARATS and SEF are authorized by the mainland and Taiwan to hold negotiations and handle cross-Strait affairs.

Ma said that the "1992 Consensus" embodies the spirit under which Taiwan and the mainland can sort out their differences and face up to reality. It also reflects the attitude of the two sides toward resolving cross-Strait issues in a pragmatic way.

The "1992 Consensus" paved the way for the first meeting of SEF and ARATS leaders, in 1993 in Singapore. It also laid the foundation for future institutionalized consultations between the two organizations, Ma said.

The ARATS and SEF have held eight rounds of talks since 2008 and witnessed the signing of 18 cross-Strait pacts, including the landmark cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed in 2010.

Ma said Taiwan and the mainland have turned a historic page in their ties because both sides have agreed to accept the "1992 Consensus."

At the symposium, held by the SEF and Taiwan's Chengchi University, scholars from Taiwan and Hong Kong and other participants exchanged views on ways of building mutual trust between the mainland and Taiwan. They also discussed the future development of cross-Strait ties and the meaning of the "1992 Consensus" under new circumstances.

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