Tue, Jul 19, 2016 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

Let it go, Mr Ma

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has submitted an article to the media, making 10 suggestions to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) before she visits Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島). Every citizen has the right to express a viewpoint on the South China Sea ruling, as it is relevant to the sovereignty and interests of this nation and no opinion should be dismissed because of who expresses it.

However, his detailed suggestions could lead people to think that he does not like to play a low-key role. Moreover, if his strategies were effective, why is it that after eight years as president, Itu Aba is still seen as a “rock” and not an “island”?

In addition to the downgrading of Itu Aba from an island to a rock, another major setback was that the nation was referred to as “Taiwan Authority of China.” However, Ma neglected to mention this in his comments. Is this a term that is acceptable to the former president? Could this be the product of the so-called “1992 consensus?” Is this term compatible with the “one China, different interpretations” principle?

Due to Taiwan’s complicated geopolitical situation and its involvement in races between several big nations, it has for a long time faced many challenges and dilemmas. However, it must be recognized that the biggest problem comes from China’s ambition and oppression. Otherwise, why is it that Taiwan could not go to the International Court of Arbitration as the Philippines did? Why is it that Taiwan could not even send observers to the tribunal proceedings? If Taiwan’s sovereignty is already under threat, how will it be able to protect an island hundreds of kilometers away?

When it comes to sovereignty, the whole nation has to come together to face external threats and it concerns every man and woman of this nation, whoever they are. However, it is not helpful to evade what is important and talk about what is not; nor is it appropriate to take on a role that is not yours to play. After all, it is a very basic democratic requirement that you do not perform a task if you are not in that position.

Huang Tzu-wei

Taipei

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