Fri, Jun 22, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Ma rejects hardline `two Chinas' view

NO CHANGE Ma Ying-jeou sought to distance himself from a party veteran's stance and said it was impossible for Taiwan and China to recognize one other at the moment

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

A Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) hardliner yesterday said that cross-strait relations should be defined in terms of "two Chinas" -- the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China -- and that the two should unite.

KMT Central Review Committee Chairman Mao Kao-wen (毛高文) made the remarks during the committee's annual meeting.

"As the issue of cross-strait relations will be hotly debated before the presidential election, the `two Chinas' status quo automatically excludes the option of Taiwanese independence and highlights our stance," said Mao, a former education minister.

KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), however, declined to endorse Mao's remarks and argued that the time is not yet ripe for the country to discuss the issue of unification with China.

Dismissing Mao's definition of cross-strait relations as "two Chinas," Ma insisted the KMT advocated maintaining the "status quo" across the Taiwan Strait with no immediate plan for unification.

"Taiwanese independence has never been an option for the KMT, but it's not the time to discuss unification with China either. The KMT advocates maintaining the status quo," Ma said.

Ma said he respected Mao's opinions but it was impossible for Taiwan and China to recognize each other based on their respective constitutions.

"That's why I proposed that both sides of the Taiwan Strait agree to a status of mutual non-denial to earn more space for cross-strait exchanges," Ma said.

Ma proposed "mutual non-denial" during his trip to India last week, arguing that each side of the Strait should have its own interpretation of "one China."

Avoiding the issue of unification, Ma said later yesterday during the launch of his latest book that he wanted to explore the connections between the KMT and Taiwan in the country's history, and define Taiwan's core values.

"Taiwan has four core values: openness, pragmatism, tolerance and diligence. The values, however, are often ignored by politicians during election campaigns," he said.

The book, titled Taiwan Spirit, collects Ma's previously-published articles on historical figures and events including the 228 Incident, the May 4th Movement, Chinese philosopher and essayist Hu Shih (胡適) and Taiwanese nationalist pioneer Chiang Wei-shui (蔣渭水).

It is the Ma camp's latest attempt to attract more support from ethnic Taiwanese through a "localization" rhetoric.

Ma denied using the book as a campaign tool, and insisted that the country should put aside the issues of ethnicity and localization and embrace talents from all over the world.

"I think people in Taiwan are losing interest in talking about localization and ethnicity. We need to be more open and take advantage of foreign talents for the development of Taiwan," he said.

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