[China's Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan] reiterated Beijing's demand that talks with the Chen government had to be conducted on the basis of the 'one China' principle and the so-called '1992 consensus.'If these wordgames are the best that China's foreign ministry has to offer, they should ask the PR firm they just hired for their money back (Hat Tip: Image Thief).
However, in a seeming effort to downplay demands by senior Bush administration officials that government-to-government talks with Taiwan be held without preconditions, Tang denied that Beijing's insistence on the 'one China' principle and the '1992 consensus' were preconditions.
Responding to a question, Tang said "I don't think that this is a kind of precondition. This is obviously an objective fact, because there is only one China in the world and there is a 1992 consensus. This is not a precondition."
Let me offer a brief quote that might help Minister Tang understand the current situation:
Being in power is like being a lady - if you have to tell people you are, you aren't!One could alternately word the concept as: If you have to tell someone (repeatedly) that you have a consensus, then you don't!
Minister Tang should consider using the past tense in future references to the 1992 consensus, as in: 'but... but... we had a consensus back in 1992.' He could even use one past tense and one present tense verb to allow him to save face on the matter: 'that there was a consensus 13 years ago is a fact.'
Update: Don't miss Wandering to Tamshui's post "And Now Fisk Steps into the Batter's Box," where he completely debunk's some of the PRC's other attempts to convince the world (and themselves) of their ownership of Taiwan. (HT: View From Taiwan) Excerpt:
Observe the PRC's tactics of insinuating something, passing it off as the truth until it encounters resistance, when it predictably falls back on military threats ("No matter, we have a stronger military and aren't afraid to use it.") and resolutely slamming fists on tables and recycling the old propaganda ("It's futile, I say! Futile!!!").