First, from the Beijing side: their position on the alleged “1992 Consensus” as reported in the Washington Times….

China stands ready to discuss a broad range of sensitive military, economic and diplomatic issues with Taiwan if the island’s new government accepts Beijing’s terms on national sovereignty, China’s U.S. Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong said Thursday.

“We have made clear that as long as they agree to the one-China principle, everything can be discussed,” Mr. Zhou said, including such topics as China’s military buildup across the Taiwan Strait and Taiwan’s participation in international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO).

In other words, there is no 1992 consensus with “one China, two interpretations.” There is only One China, and it is ruled from Beijing. Not only does the Ambassador make that crystal clear, I’ve heard that the Chinese have also articulated that position privately to US observers.

President of the ROC Ma Ying-jeou was also mentioned as articulating his position in an interview with the Japanese:

Mr. Zhou’s suggestion that China would be willing to discuss its military buildup came as Mr. Ma told the Japanese Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, in its edition published Friday, that the withdrawal of China’s missile arsenal opposite the island was a precondition for talks on an ultimate political settlement.

“In order to reconcile with each other, we should hold peace talks on both sides [of the Taiwan Strait],” Mr. Ma said. “In that case, prior to … talks, I would demand the withdrawal of the missiles or some other way to remove the threat.”

The interview in the Daily Yomiuri is here. Ma talks a lot tougher when he is speaking outside Taiwan than in it, so to speak. But remember that the backdrop to Ma’s claim that “Taiwan won’t negotiate on sovereignty while the missiles still point” is the ongoing private discussions between the CCP and the KMT, presumably on the annexation of Taiwan. In other words, Ma’s claim is totally hollow, even more so because of the obvious hedge: “I would demand the withdrawal of the missiles or some other way to remove the threat.” A very typical Ma “statement” — completely qualified, and hollow to the core.

Ma also said he’d accept the pandas from China — a shame to subsidize China in caring for animals it already has a program to save, when funding for Taiwan’s own unique organisms is so limited. Wasteful and stupid.

Is Ma trying to put a spike in the KMT Old Guard by putting limits on the negotiations with China? The accession of Jason Yuan, another Old Guarder, to the position of Taipei’s rep in Washington is yet another example of how Ma is simply being sidelined by the powerful elites who want annexation and want it now. It is they who are talking to the Chinese. Not an issue yet is the ROC Constitution, which might complicate annexation, though I suppose it will just be a case of:

Londo Mollari: We have treaties!
Lord Refa: Ink on a page!