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Nov 7, 2008

Has China agreed to Ma's "mutual non-denial" formula?

This CNA article needed a dedicated post, with full translation. It contains some very interesting inside information. Please note the translation is very rushed.

(中央社記者黃名璽台北六日電)總統馬英九與海 峽兩岸關係協會會長陳雲林會面,短短十分鐘,出人意料。消息人士今天說,雙方事前就對會面的方式達成共識,昨天定案,確定不採會談的「馬陳會」,也與總統 一般接見外賓的方式不同,由總統蒞臨致詞慰勉,以「互不否認」的前提,為兩會協商畫下句點。

TAIPEI, Nov. 6 -- The meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou and ARATS chief Chen Yunlin lasted only a short ten minutes, surprising observers. According to our source, both sides consented to this format of the meeting yesterday evening, agreeing not hold a discussion, and also agreed to a meeting format that differs from when the president meets most foreign dignitaries. President Ma made his mention of "mutual non-denial" a precondition for this concluding meeting.

A good opening paragraph that lays out what you will learn below.

總統上午在台北賓館西廂,接見海峽交流基金會與 海協會代表。據了解,總統將接見時間提前,主要是因為昨天晚間晶華酒店發生陳雲林被圍困事件,發現民主進步黨領導人無法控制群眾,憂慮今天遊行可能引發更 嚴重衝突,才緊急在凌晨一點左右拍板,透過海基會取得海協會同意,更改時間到上午十一時。

In the West Room at the Taipei Guest house this morning, the President met with the ARATS representative. According to our understanding, the main reason the President called for the meeting time to be moved up because after Chen Yunlin got trapped by protesters in the Changhua Hotel last night, the President discovered that the DPP would not be able to control the protesters and began to worry that today's demonstration would result in violence. Therefore, at about 1:00am last night, the SEF got ARATS agreement to change the meeting time to 11:00am this morning.

Sounds like this "leak" also involves a great deal of spin. But still, reasonably enough explanation.

至於總統接見時間僅十分鐘,消息管道證實,是經兩會多次協商,五日傍晚雙方都同意後定案。至於雙方當初準備多套方案,最後採行會面十分鐘的方式,「不是為快閃,而是想圓滿結束」。

Our source confirms that the meeting length of ten minutes was negotiated over two sessions and agreement was reached late on the night of the 5th. The source says the 10 minute meeting format was chosen over other plans "not to allow everyone to leave in a haste, but to allow for a perfect ending."

I would think the haste + good looking ending would be a "two birds with one stone" situation.

相關人士觀察,陳雲林方面本來不希望總統公開提出「台灣安全」與「互不否認」,但總統上午接見時致詞,仍提出十六字箴言,也提到台灣安全與國際空間,陳雲林方面「默認」,這也是事前協商講好的部分。從最後接見活動可以看出,其實「正視現實、互不否認」已經存在。

A person involved in the meeting observes that Chen Yunlin's side hoped that President Ma would not raise the points of "Taiwan's security" and "mutual non-denial," but the President made mention of these along with Taiwan's international space and the "16 character formula" [analyzed here] in any case. Chen Yunlin's side tacitly agreed, and all of this was also negotiated before the meeting. The final results of the meeting demonstrate that "Face reality, mutual non-denial" already exists [or is agreed on by both sides].

Quite interesting. But I will believe China has accepted "mutual non-denial" when they actually use the phrase. Right now, they are really just "not openly denying mutual non-denial directly to your face."

消息管道說,兩會先前一直協商總統接見應採哪套方案,過程中,雙方對稱謂問題無法達成共識,接見隨時可能破局,直到昨天傍晚協商才達成共識。

The source said the negotiations over the details of the meeting took a great deal of negotiation and the final consensus was only reached late last night.

據指出,馬總統一直很堅持要表達總統身分,原本安排的是約一小時的「會談」,總統很早就說要以中華民國總統身分接見,堅持對等尊嚴原則,且認為在自己國家土地上,若對方無法正面表述稱謂問題,那寧可不要這樣的會見。

According to the source, President Ma was extremely firm on wanting to express his capacity of President, and originally planned on a 1 hour discussion with Chen. Ma had been saying for some time he would be meeting Chen in the capacity as President, and insisted on the principles of equality and dignity, especially considering Ma was in his own country. If the ARATS side did not agree to Ma's requirements on title, then Ma preferred to not meet.

I smell spin here again, but it seems plausible.

總統甚至認為,為維持國家尊嚴,他可以取消這場會面;但若能劃下圓滿句點,對兩岸關係是好事。另一方面,陳雲林對官銜無法接受,逼他們說出口是強人所難,也使得這場會面始終存在破局可能。

The President even believed that in order to protect the dignity of the country, he could cancel the meeting; but if it would be possible to put a final period on the ARATS chief's visit, it would be better for cross strait relations. On the other hand, Chen Yunlin could not accept the use of an official title, and it was also impossible to force Chen to say "President," so this issue initially threatened to shatter the chance of a meeting.

Again, spintastic, but also seems to be true.

後來雙方都認為,馬總統接見陳雲林這樣的儀式,是歷史性的事件跟活動,要凸顯的象徵意義大於會面本身實質意義;此外,馬總統要對話的對象並非陳雲林,而是中國國家主席胡錦濤,加上陳雲林並未獲授權談論政治性議題,因此沒有必要在與陳雲林會面時過於凸顯政治性對話。

In the end, both sides agreed that the ceremonial meeting between President Ma and Chen Yunlin was a historic occasion, and wanted to emphasize the symbolic importance over the practical importance of the meeting. In addition, President Ma was not so interested in talking with Chen Yunlin, but rather wanted to speak with Chairman Hu Jintao. In addition, Chen Yunlin had no permission to discuss any political issues, and as a result it was decided to downplay political discussion in the meeting with Chen.

Fair enough. Makes a lot of sense.

儘管陳雲林方面無法稱呼馬總統為總統,但知情人士說,至少可以做到「互不否認」,因此,總統府擬定由總統府交際科長在馬總統步入會場時高聲宣布「總統蒞臨」,彰顯總統身分,陳雲林方面可「聽而不聞」,我方解讀這就是「互不否認」。

Although Chen Yunlin's side did not address Ma as President, our source indicates that at least they could demonstrate "mutual non-denial." Therefore, President Ma had the announcer loudly proclaim "The President is gracing us with his presence" upon entering the room in order to demonstrate his capacity of president. Chen Yunlin's side "listened but did not hear" [that is, made no protest or acknowledgment], and our side read this as "mutual non-denial."

Again, I don't think China is agreeing to "mutual non-denial," just "not openly denying mutual non-denial directly to your face."

知情人士說,總統接見外賓時,除總統致詞外,通常也會讓外賓致詞,但上午馬總統接見陳雲林一行人,全場只有總統致詞與互贈禮物儀式,與一般接見不同,陳雲林一行人很清楚自己扮演的角色,也接受這樣的安排。

The source said that when the President meets with foreign dignitaries, besides the president making a speech, normally the visiting dignitary will also speak. But at the afternoon meeting with Chen, there was only the President's speech and an exchange of gifts. Therefore this was not like your average meeting, and Chen Yunlin's party was quite clear of their role and accepted this this arrangement.

So this was Ma leaving wiggle room for Chen to say he was not treated as a foreign dignitary. But of course since Ma does not believe Chinese officials are foreign, he really didn't have to give anything.

Also, question: if Ma was so insistent on being President for all this, which he seems to have been, why would KMT chair Wu Po-hsiung call him "Mr. Ma" when addressing Chen Yunlin? So he can be on Chinese TV?

As a matter of reality, China will have some say in Taiwan's future, as the China Times points out here. But that does not change the fact that Taiwanese will insist on being asked for their separate consent to any agreement, and by referendum if the DPP has its way.

1 comment:

STOP Ma said...

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the President discovered that the DPP would not be able to control the protesters and began to worry that today's demonstration would result in violence.

And if you believe that PandaMa was worried about the health of the protesters, I have a bridge to sell you in Alaska.

And why should we get excited about this "mutual non-denial" red-herring? It is based on the 1992 so-called consensus (that was never a consensus). I feel like a broken record, but here I go again...

Ma's position that R.O.C. = China is ridiculous and does not help Taiwan, internationally, at all. In fact, it hurts Taiwan's political position significantly. If China was smart (which it isn't), it would proclaim this mutual non-denial agreement from the tallest rooftops in the world.

For the Taiwanese, this mutual non-denial policy of PandaMa's should be regarded as treasonous snake-oil, not some kind of "hopeful tool for peace" if agreed upon.

And another question -- if PandaMa was so worried about Taiwanese sovereignty being symbolically compromised, why in the hell did he and his thugs go out of the way to have the flags removed, etc.?

Truth is a bitch when it contradicts your lies.
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