Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) should explain his stance on appropriate defenses for Taiwan in the face of the Chinese military threat.
In order to explain his party's stance in opposing the arms purchase from the US, Ma claimed that the part of the budget for Patriot missiles had been vetoed by a referendum two years ago. He also said that President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) recent decision to cease the function of the National Unification Council (NUC) has made the arms deal more complicated.
We would like to remind the public that two years ago the referendum was overwhelmingly supported, but failed to gain enough votes to be valid. The KMT, as well as Ma, encouraged their supporters not to vote in the referendum because they did not believe it was legitimate for Chen to introduce such a referendum. In short, the Patriot missiles were never an issue and were never vetoed.
Moreover, before Chen announced his intention to halt the NUC in January, Ma's KMT had blocked the arms purchase plan more than 40 times in the Legislative Yuan.
Although Ma and his KMT officials have stated that Taiwan needs to maintain an appropriate capacity for self-defense, they have yet to provide an alternative plan in the midst of China's military builup.
According to Ma, cross-strait relations are one of the factors his party will look at when deciding on the arms purchase.
However, in his interview with TVBS on Feb. 28, Ma said that he suggested the EU consider lifting the arms embargo on China during his recent visits to London and Brussels.
Ma and the KMT should clarify whether the so-called "appropriate defense" has anything to do with the ongoing Chinese military threat.
We also demand that Ma explain why he initiated the discussion of lifting the arms embargo on China in Europe, while in Taiwan his party has repeatedly blocked weapons purchases from the US.
European Federation of Taiwanese Associations (EFTA)
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