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Jun 14, 2007

Ma and Hsieh on mutual recognition

On the evening of June 12, while on a trip through India, KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) made what amounts to another major policy speech regarding how he would handle negotiations with China.

Remember some of Ma's phrases like "the people on both sides of the strait (including the Taiwanese people) must decide" the future of Taiwan (台灣未來「必須由兩岸人民(包括台灣人民)決定」) ? It contrasts with President Chen's "only the Taiwanese people have a right to decide the future of Taiwan." Or perhaps you remember "one China, two regions" or "One side, one political entity" (「一中兩區」、「一邊一個政治實體」)? It also contrasts with Chen's "one side, one country, with this side being named the Republic of China (ROC)" formulation.

On June 12, Ma said that he would not seek "mutual recognition" while negotiating with China, and he also hoped Taiwan and China could avoid "mutual non-recognition." In other words, he wants "mutual non-denial." As he put it:

"If both sides want to act cutthroat, and one side uses 'signal fire' diplomacy while the other side refuses to yield, then in the end there will only be unending attrition and a never ending creation of even more problems."
This statement is nice, but ignores the obvious fact that DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) was willing to make: that Ma seems like he's speaking as a third party, and sounds almost like Singapore leader Lee Kuan Yew (李光耀). Taiwan recognizes China; the problem is that China refuses to recognize Taiwan, and that China keeps applying pressure to shrink Taiwan's international space.

(Related Taipei Times article)

Edit: The thing that bothers me about this most is Ma is trying to run on a platform where he basically doesn't care about being recognized as a soverign nation. I don't think that's going to fly.

And as Feiren at Rank pointed out the other day, China long ago denied the ROC still exists.That was part of the 92 concensus that Ma wants to start with, and that's even in their constitution ("Taiwan is part of the sacred territory of the People's Republic of China."). So what is Ma talking about?

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