Tue, Jul 31, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Ma’s silence draws opposition criticism

‘CALCULATED’:The DPP said Ma betrayed a promise to defend Taiwan’s sovereignty with his silence at the KMT-CCP forum, while the TSU mulled another treason lawsuit

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The opposition yesterday criticized President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) silence on Beijing’s latest claim that “both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one country,” saying this was an obvious attempt to confine Taiwan within a “one China” framework.

Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference chairman Jia Qinglin (賈慶林) gave the clearest definition of the “one China” framework thus far on Sunday at the eighth annual Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum in Harbin, China, saying that “Mainland [China] and Taiwan both belong to one country, so the relationship of both sides of the Taiwan Strait is not a nation-to-nation relationship.”

“The definition was of serious concern. It was China’s calculated step in accordance with Chinese President Hu Jintao’s (胡錦濤) ‘six points,’ which would eventually make Taiwan a ‘domestic affair,’” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Policy Research Committee Executive Director Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) told a press conference.

Developments in Taiwan are also of great concern because Ma’s position on Taiwan’s status has gone from “one China with different interpretations” to “one country, two areas” (一國兩區) to “both sides belong to one country,” which will eventually make Taiwan part of China, Wu said.

That was very different from what Ma pledged during his presidential campaign, when he said that Taiwan was a sovereign country and its future would have to be decided by its 23 million people, he said.

“We believe that Taiwanese have to voice their anger because what Ma has said and what he has done are different. The Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] has shown that it is a political party that cannot defend Taiwan’s interests and security,” Wu said.

Beijing’s position has been clear, Wu said, as it insists on the “one China” principle and that both sides should first end hostility before signing a peace accord and establishing a military confidence-building measure.

While former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) unilaterally ended hostilities with the CCP in 1991 with the abolition of the Period of Mobilization for the Suppression of Communist Rebellion (動員戡亂時期), Ma “has taken the bilateral relationship back to the hostile period with his initiative of ‘one country, two areas,’” Wu said.

While the DPP plans to actively engage with Beijing and forge better bilateral relations, its position has been clear with its longstanding advocacy of Taiwan’s sovereignty and independence, Wu said.

The KMT-CCP forum looked like a well-planned step-by-step move toward unification, DPP legislative caucus chief secretary Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) told a press conference.

Starting from the unified ideogram initiative in the 2009 forum, the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in 2010 and last year to the “one country” talks this year, the KMT and the CCP have been steering Taiwan toward eventual unification through their patient collaboration, she said.

DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said Ma’s weakness could easily be seen in a series of recent incidents, such as the dispute over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) and a private British organization’s removal of the Republic of China’s national flag in London under Chinese pressure, which has left many Taiwanese angry.

While former KMT chairman Wu Po-hsiung (吳伯雄) said that he “was asked by someone” to submit his controversial initiative of “one country, two areas (一國兩區)” in Beijing in March, Huang said he would like to know if Wu “was asked by someone again” to reach the 17 conclusions reached yesterday in the annual forum.

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