Mon, Jul 28, 2008 - Page 1 News List

China using KMT to pressure Ma: official

PUSHING UNIFICATION Beijing will strengthen the KMT’s position in order to help it to control Ma and force him to adhere to the 2005 Lien-Hu five-point statement

By Su Yung-Yao  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Chinese government plans to team up with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to force President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to push Taiwan closer to unification with China, a top Chinese official has said.

In this month’s edition of the Chinese-language Hong Kong publication Xinbao Caijing Monthly, Ye Guohua (葉國華), honorary chairman of the board of the foreign affairs think tank China Foundation for International Studies and Academic Exchanges, said China wants to force Ma to adhere to the five point statement issued by former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) in 2005. This would then set the framework for unification talks.

Ye said Beijing looks at the talks between the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) merely as “holding hands” and does not think the “small three links” represent true direct transportation.

Ye said China will not enter into a compromise that easily and that “China will force Ma into implementing the KMT line,” adding that if this cannot be done, China may not be as lenient toward Ma.

He said that to accomplish its goal, China will strengthen the KMT’s position and increase party to party talks to help the KMT control Ma and make him adhere to the Lien-Hu statement. Whether or not the ARATS chairman meets with Ma during his visit to Taiwan later this year would be a good indicator of China’s view of the situation.

Ye also said the fact that former deputy minister of foreign affairs Wang Yi (王毅) was appointed chairman of the Taiwan Affairs Office shows that the Taiwan issue has been internationalized. He said the two key factors in the issue were public opinion and economic interaction across the Strait and that even Ma did not know whether Taiwan in the end would move toward unification or declare independence.

The greatest interference, Ye said, comes from the US and Japan, with the US’ national interest paramount, and it could no longer be treated as a cross-strait issue.

Commenting on Ma’s statement that he would not live to see unification, Ye — who has private contacts with Ma — said this was probably made as a show for the US and Japan, but that it also indicated that Ma lacks direction and the pull the US has over the situation.

Also see: EDITORIAL: Beijing is simply biding its time

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