“President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is very sincere — sincere in telling lies, that is.” Such is a jape often used by critics to ridicule the president’s tendency to tell only half-truths, if not a whole lie.
However, joking aside, Ma never ceases to amaze Taiwanese with his brazenness, leaving many to wonder how he manages to tell bare-faced lies in public without turning red.
Ma was at it again this week during his meeting on Tuesday with American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Raymond Burghardt and in an interview published in the Wall Street Journal two days earlier, where he again touted the so-called “1992 consensus.”
He said that in the seven years he has been president, he has abided by the “1992 consensus” as the basis for maintaining the peaceful “status quo” between Taiwan and China, adding that the public should understand that “the 1992 consensus is actually the best model to defend the sovereignty of the Republic of China and the dignity of Taiwan.”
Ma’s remarks immediately raise the question: Who is Ma to decide what is best for Taiwan? Granted, he is the president, but that does not give him the right to unilaterally decide the nation’s future, especially since his approval rating has dipped to just 9.2 percent.
Just because he believes that the “1992 consensus” is good for the nation does not mean it is necessarily so, even without acknowledging that China’s understanding of the “consensus” differs from what Ma has been telling the public it refers to — a supposed tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Beijing that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
Take the recent joint statement by Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) and Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko as an example. It states that Belarus recognizes that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China, the only legitimate government representing all of China, and so it would not have official contacts with Taiwan, would not sell weapons to Taiwan and would support any Chinese endeavors to realize unification.
If the “1992 consensus” really existed, why has Ma not stood up and rejected the Xi-Lukashenko statement? All his government has done is issue a weak statement expressing its “deep regret.” It does not even dare lodge a protest with Beijing.
In view of Beijing’s continued denigration of Taiwan’s status, it is obvious that such a cross-strait consensus does not exist.
Former KMT lawmaker Su Chi (蘇起) said in 2006 that he had made up the term in 2000, when he headed the Mainland Affairs Council, just before the transfer of power to the Democratic Progressive Party government.
The question that needs asking is: Why should the public have to shoulder the consequences of Su’s lies at the expense of Taiwan’s sovereignty and dignity?
If Ma had any respect for the public as well his own status as the president of the Republic of China, he would acknowledge that there are indeed blatant differences between his government’s understanding and that of Beijing.
His insistence on hanging onto the fabricated “consensus” suggests his contempt for the public knows no bounds.
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has said that the biggest problem in this nation is that there are too many people “speaking bare-faced lies.”
Ma, sadly, is a prime example of this — and along with his brazenness, he is wrapping Taiwan tightly with “1992 consensus” chains, dragging the nation’s sovereignty and dignity down the drain.
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