Has President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) been confirmed to have some kind of psychosis? No. Then the only alternative is to conclude that his delusional ramblings have some actual purpose.
The latest evidence of this was a slip of the tongue when he used the term “one country, two systems” when talking about the “one China” principle in his Nov. 7 meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), as well as him referring to the meeting as “another form of peace agreement.”
He did not misspeak. This was not the verbal equivalent of a typo. He is a believer in “one China” and he is very good at making things up.
Former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) came up with the idea of “one country, two systems.” Nobody is disputing that there are two systems, it is just that Taiwanese do not accept the bit about “one country.”
However, Ma has confirmed the so-called “1992 consensus,” and accepted the idea of “one China,” thereby substantiating “one China, two systems.”
Nevertheless, he is still attempting to change his presentation of the meeting with Xi from one of “building bridges” to “another form of peace agreement.”
His persistent touting of his own success in “bridge-building” is strongly reminiscent of former US president Richard Nixon’s harping about his “ice-breaking” visit to China in 1972. That was when Nixon got down on one knee and accepted China’s conditions.
Ma’s meeting with Xi bears strong resemblance to the time former US president Franklin Roosevelt had Patrick Hurley, his personal envoy to former Republic of China (ROC) president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), accompany former Chinese leader Mao Zedong (毛澤東) to Chongqing in 1945 for a meeting with Chiang, fearful that Chiang would throttle Mao.
Ever since he took power in 2008, hoping to intimidate ordinary Taiwanese and to embellish his own achievements, Ma has been repeating over and over, like a senile old man, how he has transformed the Taiwan Strait into a peaceful highway from the “killing fields” of the past.
Yes, he used the Chinese phrase used as the translation of the title of the movie The Killing Fields, which depicted the locations in Cambodia where hundreds of thousands were slaughtered and left to rot by the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge had taken a leaf out of Mao’s playbook on how to “recreate” and cleanse society.
Yes, the Taiwan Strait has seen opposition and tensions over the years, but what is this talk of it being like the killing fields? The two artillery bombardments of Kinmen do not really count, as they were technically not across the Taiwan Strait, but rather in what was incontrovertibly Chinese territory.
That Taiwan has a democracy and that there is no war across the Taiwan Strait are thanks to the diplomatic intervention and military power of the US, which had nothing to do with Ma allowing Taiwan to be “peacefully annexed.”
Ma only knows how to fabricate or exaggerate the seriousness of past events or situations and inflate his own achievements, while trying to conceal the price that has to be paid.
James Wang is a media commentator.
Translated by Paul Cooper
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