Share this

May 31, 2009

Ma endorses sovereignty referendum theory

President Ma Ying-jeou's latest comments to Taiwanese media in Belize constitute a fundamental shift on Ma's position regarding whether Taiwan's future status be determined through the referendum process. Using that process is a key demand and central plank of the DPP platform.

Only issues of greater importance, such as those involving Taiwan’s sovereignty,
need to be put to a referendum, he said.

“There won’t be any political items, such as ‘one nation, two systems,’ in the ECFA,” he said.

Stressing that the proposed ECFA was an economic agreement, Ma said holding referendums is time-consuming and expensive, and it would be difficult for the government to operate if it had to hold a referendum on every major policy issue. “It would be meaningless if referendums were held too often and on less important issues,” the president said.

While "the ECFA won't address sovereignty issues, so it doesn't need a referendum" is a frequent refrain from the Ma administration, before now they've carefully avoided vocalizing the implied point, which is that sovereignty issues do require a referendum. This appears to mark a reversal in that strategic ambiguity.

The quote in Chinese is reported by the Liberty Times as follows: 「我一向都主張台灣的前途必須由二千三百萬台灣人民來決定,涉及主權議題才需要公投」"I have always held that Taiwan's future is to be determined by Taiwan's 23,000,000 people; only topics related to with sovereignty need a referendum."

It could be that Ma's using the opportunity to improve his opening hand before going into peace talks with Beijing. Or maybe feeling some sort of heat from some unknown source. Or perhaps neither -- maybe he really hadn't noticed he and his spokesmen were avoiding putting the word sovereignty and referendum in the same sentence, and he truly does want to endorse the referendum process.

In any case I welcome this development.


skiingkow said...

This would matter if one could actually rely on the words of PandaMa or the KMT.

In the 8 years that I've been following politics in Taiwan, one thing is for certain. PandaMa and the KMT can most certainly NOT be trusted to honour their words. Lip-service and equivocation is the rule. Not the exception.

And regardless of a referendum on sovereignty -- PandaMa, the KMT and the CCP are killing Taiwan by a thousand cuts. Their strategy does not necessitate the need to explicitly deal with sovereignty issues per se. When the noose is tied tight enough, the Taiwanese will not be able to avoid the chair being kicked out beneath them.

It's high time the Taiwanese realize how dangerous PandaMa and the KMT are to their sovereignty NOW. Forget the referendum issue. When you get down to it -- it really is irrelevant and only acts as a distraction.

Robert R. said...

Actually, I think it's Ma just planning ahead... he needs promises to break in 2-5 years, not just now.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gilman Grundy said...

All Ma seems to be making here is a basic statement of fact: the ROC constitution cannot be amended without a 3/4th majority in the Legislative Yuan (which the KMT now has) and a 50% quorate referendum (which it is impossible to ever imagine an amendment seriously affecting Taiwan's sovereignty having). Basically, so long as Ma stays within the constitution (which he has never shown any serious sign of not doing) Taiwan remains as constitutionally gridlocked as it has been since 2000 at least.

I equate talk of Ma 'killing' Taiwan, or having made secret deals with the mainland, or being a front man for a secretive cabal of KMT hardliners, with the kind of 'Obama-is-a-muslim-socialist' paranoia you currently see in amongst the Republican rump in America. Essentially, if you believe something passionately without having anything more than vague suspicions you shouldn't expect to convince many people that what you believe is true.

Yes, Ma and the KMT support eventual re-unification, but Ma has said that he does not think this could happen whilst the mainland remains undemocratic. Could economic integration create a situation where a break with the mainland becomes impossible? Well, you could very easily say that such a situation already exists, that it existed under Chen, and that it was not government policy that created it, but the invisible hand of the market. However, close economic integration does not preclude political independence. Canada's economy is very dependent on the US, but this has not prevented Canada from being a highly independent country. Given that the KMT is now in power, I do not expect them to start signing away the power that they have.

Tommy said...

One old sentence to say to FOARP:

-What's in a name? that which we call a rose
-By any other name would smell as sweet;
-So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd...

While you make a good point, FOARP, you forget, and perhaps A-gu has overlooked, the fact that as long as any treaty doesn't touch on "sovereignty", as the KMT calls it, then no referendum is needed.

This means that almost anything that could affect Taiwan's sovereignty at a later date can be windowdressed as a non-sovereignty issue (erm... ECFA). How about a military pact?

FOARP forgets in most of his responses that sovereignty does not have to be given away explicitly to be lost. Weakening Taiwan economically or neglecting the military (anyone hear anything about cutting back military drills? I have...) can result, in the end, in coercion or invasion. The Chinese government knows this.

FOARP also agrees that the KMT supports unification. The reality is that if the KMT is not planning on selling the house this year, they are trying to transform a Taiwan into a country that is more amenable to unification. Sovereignty could be affected in the long run.

So we go back to the fact that it should be any matter of national importance that could affect sovereignty that is subject to a referendum... not any matter that only has the words, "We hereby transfer our sovereignty to you, our Chinese lords and masters."

Carlos said...

I'll go ahead and defend FOARP's post. Not completely; I'm pretty suspicious of Ma and much more so of the KMT "old guard" that Ma isn't widely considered to be part of (no way he would've gotten so many light green votes otherwise). I'd bet there have indeed been secret deals.

But FOARP's post is probably the majority opinion in Taiwan. Most people don't see economic agreements, pandas, and the "Chinese Taipei" name as reducing Taiwan's sovereignty, and as the support for the status quo suggests, "not reducing" is good enough for most. I the power of symbolism is overrated in Taiwanese politics when it comes to swaying the voters... especially by people like us.

Liz said...

白蟻,除蟲,跳蚤,除白蟻,白蟻防治,大陸新娘,外籍新娘,扭力板手,防爆工具,扭力校正器,居家清潔,清潔公司,旅行社,柴犬,瑪爾濟斯,白蟻,除白蟻,白蟻防治,保健食品,樟芝,納豆,瑜珈,瑜珈教室,瑜珈補習班,高雄瑜珈,法拍,法拍屋,MOTEL 汽車旅館,高雄MOTEL,高雄汽車旅館,3M隔熱紙,大樓隔熱紙,汽車隔熱紙,隔熱紙,瑜珈教學,瑜珈教室,高雄瑜珈,法拍屋,地板拋光,機票,會計事務所,法拍,法拍屋,墾丁一日遊,墾丁旅遊,墾丁旅遊網,高雄一日遊,高雄旅遊 高雄縣旅遊,阿里山旅遊,服飾批發,流行服飾,韓國服飾,日系服飾,看護,居家看護,看護中心,台中motel,台中住宿,台中汽車旅館,蛋糕,彌月蛋糕,乳酪蛋糕,巧克力,chocolate,塑膠棧板,棧板,服飾批發,時尚服飾,服飾,少女服飾批發,衣服批發,潘朵拉服飾,服飾批發

Liz said...

不孕症 人工受孕 多囊性卵巢 婦產科 SEO 排名行銷 搜尋行銷 網站排名 網路排名 網路行銷 網頁優化 自然搜尋排列 關鍵字 關鍵字行銷 精蟲分離 肉毒桿菌 試管嬰兒 韓式隆鼻 割雙眼皮 縫雙眼皮 內視鏡隆乳 豐胸 抽脂 整形 整形外科 狐臭 眼袋 開眼頭 隆乳 隆鼻 雙眼皮 果凍矽膠 抽脂 拉皮 整形 玻尿酸 眼袋 脂肪移植 除疤 隆乳隆鼻 雙眼皮 削骨 潘朵拉服飾 服飾批發 流行服飾 流行服裝,韓國服飾 日系服飾 日系精品 服飾批發 批發 服飾批貨 服飾批貨 日韓服飾 精品服飾,日本服飾,潘朵拉服飾,批發服飾 潘朵拉日韓服飾 熱門服飾,時尚服飾,服飾,潘朵拉服飾

開拓王 said...


開拓王 said...