The that the “consensus” has no realThe that the “consensus” has no real

The concept of
Taiwanese identity has been a crucial issue in the relations between Taiwan and
China ever since the democratization of Taiwan. Before that, in spite of the
fundamental ideological conflict and obvious historical reasons, one thing was obvious
for both People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China. Namely, Taiwan
was an integral part of China and China was not to remain divided. That was, in
a way, confirmed by so-called “1992 consensus”. This term refers to the result
of a meeting in 1992 between the representatives of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China, which comes down to the general agreement that there
is only one “China” and both Mainland and Taiwan belong to it. However this
unspoken accord allows for different interpretations of “One China principle”. “1992
consensus” has been the basis and, in a way, a prerequisite for Taiwan to
maintain a relationship with China. However, the question of a totally
different nature is whether the consensus exists in the first place. Supporters
of KMT argue that it exists and should be the basis for talks with the PRC,
while the supporters of the pan-green coalition with the DPP claim that the
“consensus” has no real power.

            In 1990s, especially after the
presidential elections won by Lee Teng-hui in 1996, Taiwan-centric discourse
moved to the mainstream. That was the time when issue of Taiwanese identity has
become contentious for the cross-strait relations. “One China principle” which
is the core of Chinese reunification model is based on the assumption that
Chinese nation has been divided and, thus, the only possible outcome in a long
perspective is the eventual reunification. In this context emergence of
distinct Taiwanese identity poses a key problem for China as it undermines the
fundamental logic of unification: if Taiwanese society and political elites do
not consider themselves Chinese, then the concept of Chinese “reunification”
becomes intrinsically conflicting.

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