Cleaning up Ma’s mess
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) earlier this month attended a meeting of the Central American Parliament, where he was greeted as the “president of China,” triggering discussions at the Legislative Yuan. National Security Bureau Director-General Yang Kuo-chiang (楊國強) took the blame for the mishap, saying that it was caused by his negligence. On March 15, Ma said that all the nations that attended the meeting recognized the Republic of China (ROC) as the sole legal representative of China.
This is not true, because the parliament’s members are UN members as well and recognize the People’s Republic China (PRC), not the ROC, as the sole legal government of China. Ma fooled no one but himself.
Just two days after Ma’s statement, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) shook hands with Gambian Minister of Foreign Affairs Neneh Macdouall-Gaye at a signing ceremony in Beijing to defend the PRC’s dignity and demonstrate its authority. The PRC officially established diplomatic relations with the Gambia on March 17.
For China, Ma is an obedient child. In November last year, during his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in Singapore, Ma surrendered to Beijing without mentioning any different interpretations of the “one China” principle.
Ma kept saying that his China policy would guarantee continued diplomatic relationship with the nation’s allies. Now that he publicly said that the ROC represents the whole of China, he violated the promise he made during his meeting with Xi. That is why he was criticized by Wang right away. It was not even worth of Xi’s time to comment on the matter.
Ma must be disappointed at the timing of the resumption of diplomatic ties between China and the Gambia.
He has said it was “very inappropriate.”
Would it have been appropriate if it happened after May 20, when president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) takes office, so that she can take the blame? Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators had said that if Tsai did not accept the so-called “1992 consensus” and accept the “one China” principle, then diplomatic relations with the nation’s 22 allies could all be broken off.
Does it sound like the end of the world for Taiwanese? No, on the contrary, it is more than welcome, for it is time for Taiwan to get rid of the illusive ROC: It is nothing but an exiled government of China; not a nation recognized by the international community. Did Tsai not promise to rule the nation under the current constitutional system? How will she keep her promise?
The constitutional system does not mean anything at all to Taiwan or China.
First, Beijing has never recognized and accepted the ROC Constitution, instead it has written its own constitution and established the PRC. Second, the ROC Constitution has never listed Taiwan as part of its territory since it was established in 1946 and took effect on Dec. 25, 1947.
Third, Article 4 of the ROC Constitution defines the ROC’s territory according to its existing national boundaries, which cannot be altered without a resolution from the National Assembly.
However, the National Assembly is no more — it was abolished in 2005 — which means that the ROC’s territory can never be changed.
Fourth, the ROC Constitution does not have any binding authority to keep Taiwanese from breaking away from China, since it is not accepted by Taiwan or the PRC.
Fifth, the constitutional system is the public’s will expressed through the results of presidential and legislative elections. Taiwanese have said “No” to China.
In less than two months, Ma is to step down from his presidential seat, although he seems unwilling to face that reality, trying in vain to abuse his power in the hope of leaving a historic mark, such as renaming a Presidential Office Building hall after Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) and visiting Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島).
Ma should be ashamed to face Chiang, who was a staunch anti-communist. Ma is naive enough to declare Itu Aba part of the ROC’s historic territory. However, it is not: It was transferred by the United States Military Government to the ROC after World War II and is being effectively defended by the US even today.
Ma has run out of tricks. He has tried to make a grab with the “one China” principle and the “1992 consensus,” but was rejected both by Taiwan and China, and he will go down in history as a bumbler with a 9.2 percent approval rating. Tsai’s time is coming and hopefully she will be able to clean up Ma’s dusty office and bring new hope to Taiwan.
ICRT’s failure to connect
I disagree with Dana Ter’s article regarding the International Community Radio Taipei’s (ICRT) efforts to stay relevant via podcasts (“Remaining relevant: the challenge of radio,” March 23, page 12). Ter must be new to Taipei, as she does not know that women have turned their backs on ICRT for its remark that “Taiwanese women who marry Western men are sluts.”
The error was compounded when ICRT’s general manager published a public letter telling people to search for “Taiwanese girls” on Google and “Taiwanese girls are easy” would pop up in the results.
Podcasts are spouting up in Taiwan because ICRT has lost its listeners’ trust over its refusal to fire its misogynist DJ. Now, there is a story Ter should cover.
The Taipei Times could start its own podcast. ICRT has no magic formula. The Community Services Center could also launch a podcast that would attract an audience.
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