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Nov 6, 2008

Why Ma is a tool



At the press conference this morning, President Ma firmly emphasized that Taiwan's future will be decided by the 23 million people of Taiwan; that he openly promised this before the election; and that there is no debating this topic. Ma was responding to DPP chairwoman Tsai Ying-wen's suspicions about Ma's policy. In regards to protecting Taiwan's sovereignty, Ma said that he had made absolutely no concessions. The President said, "I did not give an inch on protecting Taiwan's sovereignty and territorial integrity. I am the President of the Republic of China, and have made no slip ups on this front at all."
OK now, as I've said over and over again, the one thing Ma refuses to say and actively denies is that Taiwanese can decide their future by referendum, because Ma fully opposes a referendum, and because he knows it would be an unacceptable statement if he wishes to continue negotiations with China.

And there's the point, isn't it? China will talk to Ma if he says "the Taiwanese people will decide Taiwan's future" because China knows Ma means "if the Taiwanese people elect the KMT we'll do what we want in this regard, which is to move slowly toward unification and cut off any hopes of independence no matter what it takes." If Ma even said "the Taiwanese people will decide Taiwan's future by referendum," China would accuse Ma of being a Taiwan Independence supporter, even if Ma took no moves to institutionalize a referendum for deciding Taiwan's future.

Regarding whether Ma has relented on sovereignty, the Green complaint is that Ma wants to have it both ways, trying to suggest Taiwan = ROC when that's politically expedient here, but taking the official position that the ROC includes all of China, both when he talks with the Chinese and in a very telling interview with overseas press.

And of course, the position that the ROC is the only legal government of all of China is as dated as it is blatantly absurd, but it is exactly because Ma accepts this and believes Taiwan and China are part of the same country that China is willing to hold dialogue with his government in the first place, which only reinforces Green arguments that we have already capitulated on all the most important points of Taiwan's sovereignty -- and all we've got to show for it are more charter and cargo flights. It is exactly Ma's acceptance of the "One China principle" that the Greens have called selling out Taiwan; most everyone would be happy to have good normal relations with China, but not at the cost of accepting that the CPP has a legitimate role in deciding Taiwan's fate.

The most hilarious point is that this "One China = ROC" position has no currency with anyone -- the PRC doesn't buy it, Taiwanese don't buy it, the international community doesn't buy it, and I am sure that even the KMT leadership doesn't believe it; they just are willing to say it in order to get closer to China, all while making institutional changes so that Taiwanese Independence can be made impossible and the destiny of Taiwan can be taken out of the Taiwanese people's hands.


madjimp said...

As a Viet Nam Vet, who visited Taiwan and Hong Kong in the 60s,I'm firmly convinced that the Main reason why we went into Korea and Nam was to legitimize Red China.
One of the 50s advocates of this was Stevenson, who was rejected by my parents generation for IKE.
Then Nixon was beaten by JFK, Stevenson still pushing the 2 Chinas in the UN bit. JFK apparently said "No", but LBJ escalated the situation which then fell to IKE's Vice President, now President Nixon, who was maneuvered into , as you know, China in, and You guys out of the UN.
Which,I believe,
was one of the main reasons why I was in Nam.
If that's true, and the recent rejection of a highly decorated, tortured Viet Nam Vet, who would have been
the First Nam Vet President was orchestrated the way I think it was, then
the new POTUS may very well be more of
the anti-Taiwan/pro Thug attitude which got a lot of my buddies
killed and (the man who should've been President) McCain and myself and a lot more of us guys injured, permanently...
Anyway, I and my many friends support the idea of Free Cuba, Free China, Free Russia, and Free Iraq, and maybe ( God willing!) a Free USA?
Remember, it was IKE who first used the term Military-Industrial Complex!

In Jesus' Name,
Freedom's friend

阿牛 said...

Thanks for the comment madjimp!

seprana said...

Thanks for you service, Jaime!
I just wanted to tell 阿牛 what a great blog this is, you don't talk down to the non-Taiwanese Westerners like we're completely ignorant of Asian affairs or the language, etc, and you had some cool blogs teaching us new Taiwanese/Chinese lingo and terminology. I plan to keep reading to keep updated on my fav country! I loved it in TW for the 4 1/2 yrs I lived there and I hope to work there as an engineer (instead of as an English teacher) in the near future.

阿牛 said...


Glad you like the blog. Quick note though: I'm a Westerner too, so I couldn't talk down if I wanted to!

Hope you can come back and visit Taiwan sooner or later!