Sun, Apr 02, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Ma Ying-jeou trying to dress up unification

By the Liberty Times editorial

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is back from his trip to the US. As Ma is likely to run for president representing the KMT in the 2008 election, his tour of the US has been given much attention as a high-profile warm-up leading up to his election campaign.

During the trip, Ma gave a number of speeches outlining his cross-strait policy, and all Taiwanese should review what he said. Ma's policy can be summarized as an attempt to use gradual unification to mitigate his statement about "eventual unification" using the maintenance of the status quo as a pretext to push for unification.

Small wonder the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been critical of Ma's trip, for what he said further belittled Taiwan in the international community. Gleeful over the current political scene in Taiwan, Beijing is now taking a "let's talk" attitude toward Taiwan. It should not be very difficult for Taiwanese to grasp the real meaning of Ma's trip to the US.

In a past interview, Ma inadvertently revealed his intention to pursue eventual unification with China, thereby drawing fierce criticism. Ma has not responded by denying his idea about eventual unification, but has instead tried to use political deception to mitigate the negative impact of the statement about eventual unification.

In other words, Ma's strategic goal of eventual unification has not changed, but he has made some tactical adjustments to eliminate obstacles to that goal. During his trip to the US, Ma gave full play to this tactic to deceive the international community and Taiwanese. These tactical adjustments include the idea that "one China" refers to the Republic of China, arranging a modus vivendi with China, the proposal of the "five don'ts and five dos," using the "1992 Consensus," and saying that the People's Republic of China (PRC)should regard any Taiwan Republic as the primary enemy and the Republic of China (ROC) as the secondary enemy. All these statements aim to market his idea about eventual unification.

A handful of pro-unification diehards are probably the only ones who can accept the idea of eventual unification with China. A majority of Taiwanese hope to maintain the status quo. In view of this, Ma dare not reiterate his idea of eventual unification, but has proposed an interim framework and maintaining the status quo to dupe the public.

Ma's definition of the cross-strait status quo is not that Taiwan is an independent and sovereign state, but that it means "one China, with each side having its own interpretation." Ma's argument is tantamount to acknowledging that there is only one China, the PRC according to China, and the ROC according to Ma. Under these circumstances, the status quo simply becomes a transition towards the realization of one China and the final goal is still unification. How long this status quo is supposed to remain is written in the stars, or dependent on China's benevolence.

The current status quo is the "one country on either side" dictum -- China is China and Taiwan is Taiwan. This is the actual status quo, and it is also this status quo that best tallies with the interests of the people of Taiwan. The history of Taiwan shows that as long as it moves toward "one country on each side," then prospects will be bright. However, if Taiwan falls into the hands of a foreign regime, its history will be filled with suffering.

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