Sun, Nov 06, 2011 - Page 8 News List

Smoke and stagnation under Ma

By Jerome Keating

Smoke and stagnation.

And now also hiding in the smoke is Ma’s talk of possibly signing a peace treaty with China within 10 years. How can Ma make such a proposal when he will not even be in power in 10 years? Further, how does he envision this vague promise? It was first to be a treaty, then a peace accord — and now?

Then there is the additional ambiguity of whether Ma sees this accord as state-to-state, party-to-party or region-to-region and whether it must be under the “one China” principle that China always insists on. And will Ma invoke the fabricated and bogus so-called “1992 consensus”?

This is more than smoke and stagnation: It puts Taiwan’s sovereignty in danger. Ma has tried to escape from his own slippery conundrum by saying he would first seek a referendum.

However, Ma’s party has thus far not only refused to let the ECFA be put to a referendum, but has also blocked all attempts to reform the Referendum Act (公民投票法), with all its “birdcage” restrictions.

Ma began his presidency under the best of circumstances — with a Legislative Yuan in which his party controlled 75 percent of the vote.

After four years of smoke and stagnation, the people of Taiwan cannot afford to waste another four years.

Jerome Keating is a commentator based in Taiwan.

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