Letters: Ma faces complex task

Mon, Jun 25, 2007 - Page 8

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Central Review Committee Chairman Mao Kao-wen's (毛高文) recent remarks that the "two Chinas status-quo automatically excludes the option of Taiwanese independence and highlights our stance" goes some way to illustrate the complexity of the task facing KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) as he attempts to appeal to Taiwanese voters whilst trying to mute deep-blue sentiment in his own party.

He has to remain loyal to the Republic of China and yet appear as a man of Taiwan. He must rule out independence but cannot speak of unification - or more accurately, assimilation - and he must always appear presidential while legislators from his own party fail to appear professional.

Too scared to move forwards or backwards, the pan-blue camp continues to hold the nation's future in doubt by their insistence on adhering to an imposed language and system of government creaking under the weight of its own obsolescence and the rapacious diplomatic and economic onslaught from China.

The KMT's message is simple. There is only one path for the "Province of Taiwan." It is their underlying acceptance of Taiwan as a part of China that drives their policies and ideology.

This would not be a problem with the voters had the KMT not used the threat from China as a means to scare voters away from voting more locally and then engaged in publicized meetings with the very country making that threat.

Ma will need to be much clearer with the voters about his own policies and timelines if he is to convince weary voters that he is statesman material and not just capable of tit-for-tat and reactionary policies. Compared to a statesman such as former US president Dwight Eisenhower, how would Ma appear?

I mention Eisenhower because in 1953 he made his famous "Cross of Iron" speech, in which he stated that the way chosen by the US after the war was plainly marked by five clear precepts that govern US conduct in world affairs.

First, no people on earth can be held, as a people, to be enemy, for all humanity shares the common hunger for peace and fellowship and justice.

Second, no nation's security and well-being can be lastingly achieved in isolation, but only through effective cooperation with other nations.

Third, any nation's right to a form of government and an economic system of its own choosing is inalienable.

Fourth, any nation's attempt to dictate to other nations their form of government is indefensible.

Fifth, a nation’s hope of lasting peace cannot be firmly based upon any race in armaments but rather upon just relations and honest understanding with other nations.

My question for Ma and the pan-blue camp in general is that given Eisenhower’s opinion on the right to sovereignty and self-rule, do they or do they not believe that the Taiwanese people have an undeniable right to determine their own affairs as members of their own sovereign state, and if not, why?

Ben Goren

Dalin, Chiayi County