The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has released a statement rejecting comments by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has been rushing into the relaxation of cross-strait policies and that the lack of clear accompanying measures to handle problems this could cause represent an unprecedented threat to Taiwan’s sovereignty.
The MAC said the majority of relaxed cross-strait policies promoted by the government had been promoted by the DPP government, and are in line with what the public wants and beneficial to Taiwan’s economic development.
Direct cross-strait charter flights and allowing a greater number of Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan are policies promulgated by the former government. However, Beijing chose to ignore them so that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) could use them during his electoral campaign. In order to make these changes a reality, however, Beijing had to sacrifice agreements on chartered cargo flights negotiated with the DPP administration. In addition, the list of eight Chinese travel agencies monopolizing the market for visiting Taiwan had nothing to do with the DPP.
We can only thank the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party for this “development.”
Other relaxations also vary in principle with those promoted by the DPP government. The biggest difference is that the DPP never agreed to abandon the title “president.” Ma, however, has made a decision that may make dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and his son, president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), turn in their graves. Nor did the DPP administration ever recognize the so-called “1992 consensus.”
For its part, the KMT government does not even have the courage to mention “one China, with each side having its own interpretation.”
To facilitate direct flights, some local KMT government officials have disregarded national and personal dignity and openly rebuked Taiwan during their visits to China. When the KMT chairman and other senior party officials went to China, they were too afraid to uphold Taiwan’s sovereignty. On the other hand, DPP member and Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬) said at the opening of Yunlin’s liaison office in Beijing that Taiwan and China were two separate countries. Based on this, it should not be too difficult to determine who cares more about Taiwan’s dignity.
Although the DPP administration also advocated relaxing restrictions on Taiwanese investment in China, Ma has gone overboard and removed the 40 percent cap on investment. He has also failed to explain the logic behind allowing Taiwanese businesses to set up factories using 12-inch wafer technology in China.
The DPP government refused to allow the Olympic torch onto Taiwanese soil on the grounds that Beijing insists on changing Taiwan’s Olympic title from “Chinese Taipei” to “Taipei, China” and because Beijing is constantly attacking Taiwan’s sovereignty. Before his election, Ma said he would consider boycotting the Olympics over China’s treatment of Tibet. However, two months later, his government was unable to provide a strong response to Beijing changing Taiwan’s name from “Chinese Taipei” to “Taipei, China,” with only the MAC vice chairperson speaking out.
Why did Ma step up when it came to allowing Chinese officials to address him as “Mr,” only to take a backseat when it comes to safeguarding Taiwan’s sovereignty?