In yet another display of incompetence that is doomed to incur a further twisted sense of national identity and contradiction, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) this week told government officials to stop calling the other side of the Taiwan Strait “China,” and instead adopt the term “the mainland,” “mainland China” or simply “the other side.” He urged the public to do the same.
Ma was quoted by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑) as saying at a gathering of top government and legislative officials on Monday that the directive was in line with the principle of the (so-called) “1992 consensus,” which the KMT believes stipulates that both sides of the Strait agreed to have their own interpretation of “one China.” Presidential Office spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) later said that Ma’s directive was also in accordance with the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution.
Truly pathetic. Like an ostrich with its head in the sand, Ma’s government has obstinately neglected the fact that Beijing has never acknowledged the idea of “one China, with each side having its own interpretation.” What China claims is that both sides of the Strait verbally reached an agreement to insist on the “one China” principle during a cross-strait talk in Hong Kong in 1992.
As such, by senselessly clinging to the fictitious cross-strait consensus of “one China, with each side having its own interpretation,” Ma’s administration only undermines Taiwan’s sovereignty and dignity, as is evident by the recent controversy between Taiwan and the Philippines, in which Taiwan’s dominion was completely disregarded and dismissed as being irrelevant.
In a statement explaining why it deported 14 Taiwanese suspected of fraud to China, instead of Taiwan, the Philippine government, citing respect for its recognition of the “one China” policy, said the spat over jurisdiction of the Taiwanese could be settled by both sides of the Strait on their own.
The Philippines government’s statement should come as a slap to Ma, debunking his asinine insistence on the so-called “1992 consensus.”
Indeed, if as Ma claims, “one China” means the ROC, then why does the government bother lodging protests against international organization for unilaterally changing Taiwan chapter’s name from “Taiwan” to “Taiwan, China,” or “Taipei, China?”
If the ROC includes the other side of the Strait that Ma calls “the mainland,” then why did police forcefully snatch away ROC flags from bystanders during a visit by Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), who is from the “other side?”
All in all, the KMT government’s insistence on the fictitious “1992 consensus” and Ma’s edict renouncing the use of “China” in favor of “the mainland,” only propels the nation further toward a mental state of contradiction and an existential crisis. It may just be a matter of time before the nation’s identity is fractured, providing no defense to China’s annexation agenda.
Since taking office in May 2008, Ma has been forging closer ties with the “other side” and creating an impression that the “other side” means no harm to Taiwan. The latest reports about the detention of a one-star army general charged with of spying for China clearly suggests otherwise.
These incidents are just one of many that should serve as a wake-up call for Ma and the KMT government that their naivety is taking Taiwan’s sovereignty and international standing toward calamity.