Wed, May 20, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Ma defends his administration

PRAGMATISM URGED Ma Ying-jeou doesn’t think he has made any mistakes in cross-strait policy. He said that the DPP should take a ‘rational’ approach

By Ko Shu-ling and Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Ma said he called Department of Health Minister Yeh Ching-chuan (葉金川) on Monday to give him his support.

Ma said he could “fully understand” Yeh’s anger because he was a person who loved Taiwan, but had been accused of selling out.

Two Taiwanese students heckled Yeh in Geneva, where he is attending the WHA.

DPP Spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) told the Taipei Times that the DPP regrets that the president does not understand that he has hurt the country.

Ma’s acceptance of the “one China” principle, which the DPP has always rejected, violates Taiwan’s sovereignty, Cheng said.

Comments by Ma aimed at pleasing China had also jeopardized Taiwan’s sovereignty, Cheng said, citing Ma’s acceptance of the so-called “1992 consensus” — under which there is one China, with each side having its own interpretation — before first round of cross-strait talks.

He also cited Ma’s saying that relations between Taiwan and China were not country to country, but region to region before the second round of talks and his remarks in support of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s (胡錦濤) Dec. 31 speech to mark the 30th anniversary of Beijing’s “open letter to Taiwanese compatriots.”

Hu said both sides could only have exchanges under the “one China” principle.

Even Taiwan’s attendance at the WHA came at a cost, Cheng said, because the WHO Web site refers to Taiwan as “China (Province of Taiwan),” which is another affront to national sovereignty.

The DPP spokesman said the party hoped Ma would respond to issues raised by the DPP’s rally on Sunday before discussing a meeting with Tsai.

“The most serious problem with Ma and his government is that they do not care about the country’s sovereignty and status, and so they could not feel the public’s anger at the rally,” Cheng said.

Ma wants to talk with Tsai now to show that he listened to the complaints raised on Sunday, but Tsai wants a public debate with Ma on significant national policies, not a meeting that would have the effect of endorsing his failed policies, Cheng said.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus vowed yesterday to help advance the administration’s policies.

KMT caucus deputy secretary-general Yang Chiung-ying (楊瓊瓔) said KMT lawmakers believed the government needed to do more to show what it is doing for Taiwan during the global economic downturn even though Ma’s approval ratings have been climbing.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RICH CHANG AND FLORA WANG

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