One of the most frequently heard criticisms regarding President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is his “detachment” from the public and not knowing where his problems lie — judging from his Double Ten National Day address, he apparently has not learned his lesson.
In the address yesterday, Ma was eager to defend himself, saying that criticisms of his administration and its policies might be due to a “misunderstanding.”
They might have been due to a misunderstanding if only a few people were suspicious about his policies, but when a large number of people are critical of them, he should contemplate where the problem is.
According to a poll conducted by the Chinese-language Apple Daily newspaper for the seventh anniversary of Ma’s inauguration in May, only 28.74 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Ma’s overall performance, while 64.67 percent said they were not satisfied. As for the cross-strait policies that Ma has been so proud of, only 21.79 percent of respondents said they were happy about them — which was a setback from about 30 percent support he had for his cross-strait policies in previous years.
Yet, Ma defended himself by saying that his cross-strait policies have led to a decrease in tensions across the Taiwan Strait and helped the number of Chinese tourists grow by more than 10 times compared with seven years ago.
He even said that, thanks to the easing cross-strait tensions, the image of the Republic of China (ROC) has improved and therefore the number of nations and territories granting visa-free entry to Taiwanese has increased from 54 in 2007 to 153 this year.
However, Ma’s attribution of the increase in nations granting visa-free entry to Taiwanese to improved cross-strait ties is absurd, as such privileges have been granted due to efforts by Taiwan’s immigration authorities to combat human trafficking.
Cross-strait tensions of course have eased, because Ma has been giving Beijing whatever it wants.
China has always claimed Taiwan as its territory and Ma agreed to its terms by saying that Taiwan is a province of China, and by law, the relationship between Taiwan and China is not a nation-to-nation relationship, but rather an area-to-area relationship under the framework of “one China.”
Ma even went so far to say that the difference between Taiwanese and Chinese is the difference in “household registration” — meaning, it is similar to the difference between people who register their home addresses in Taipei and Kaohsiung.
Cross-strait tensions would certainly be eased if Ma has such ideas, but it is really nothing to be proud of, because such “improvement” in cross-strait ties is based on the sacrifice of the nation’s sovereignty.
Ma likes to talk about how fiercely the Chinese fought against Japanese invasion before and during World War II. Maybe he should be reminded that during China’s War of Resistance Against Japan, then-ROC leader Wang Jingwei (汪精衛) — who took a more collaborative attitude toward the Japanese and kept areas of the ROC under his administration away from conflict — was often branded as a traitor by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), while the Chiang Kai-shek-led KMT government, which held a more belligerent attitude toward the Japanese, was heralded as truly patriotic.
As Ma is so proud of his “achievements” in improving cross-strait relationships, maybe he should consider whether he is acting like the so-called traitor Wang, or maybe he should revise the textbooks and make Wang a national hero since he made concessions to the Japanese to keep regions of China free of war?
Ma certainly has failed to deliver on his promises, which he repeated throughout the years, to reflect on himself and to listen to people more. After so many years, he is still a narcissistic, egoistic, self-centric politician living in an ivory tower.
During the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum’s third leadership summit on Aug. 31, US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said that the US wants to partner with the other members of the Quadrilaterial Security Dialogue — Australia, India and Japan — to establish an organization similar to NATO, to “respond to ... any potential challenge from China.” He said that the US’ purpose is to work with these nations and other countries in the Indo-Pacific region to “create a critical mass around the shared values and interest of those parties,” and possibly attract more countries to establish an alliance comparable to
On August 24, 2020, the US Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, made an important statement: “The Pentagon is Prepared for China.” Going forward, how might the Department of Defense team up with Taiwan to make itself even more prepared? No American wants to deter the next war by a paper-thin margin, and no one appreciates the value of strategic overmatch more than the war planners at the Pentagon. When the stakes are this high, you can bet they want to be super ready. In recent months, we have witnessed a veritable flood of high-level statements from US government leaders on
China has long sought shortcuts to developing semiconductor technologies and local supply chains by poaching engineers and experts from Taiwan and other nations. It is also suspected of stealing trade secrets from Taiwanese and US firms to fulfill its ambition of becoming a major player in the global semiconductor industry in the next decade. However, it takes more than just money and talent to build a semiconductor supply chain like the one which Taiwan and the US started to cultivate more than 30 years ago. Amid rising trade and technology tensions between the world’s two biggest economies, Beijing has become
With a new White House document in May — the “Strategic Approach to the People’s Republic of China” — the administration of US President Donald Trump has firmly set its hyper-competitive line to tackle geoeconomic and geostrategic rivalry, followed by several reinforcing speeches by Trump and other Cabinet-level officials. By identifying China as a near-equal rival, the strategy resonates well with the bipartisan consensus on China in today’s severely divided US. In the face of China’s rapidly growing aggression, the move is long overdue, yet relevant for the maintenance of the international “status quo.” The strategy seems to herald a new