Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (
"The Constitution states that the country's title is the Republic of China (ROC). I think it is inappropriate to say that he is running for the presidency of the Republic of Taiwan," Ma said yesterday morning while on a visit to Kaohsiung.
During a visit to Changhua on Tuesday, Hsieh told his supporters that he is running for the presidency of the Republic of Taiwan.
"I am running for the presidency of the ROC, and it's acceptable that some foreign press say we are running for the presidency of Taiwan. But it's definitely not the Republic of Taiwan," Ma said.
KMT Secretary-General Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) also slammed Hsieh's remarks, urging him to withdraw from the presidential race, as the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Law (總統副總統選罷法) states that presidential elections choose the president of the ROC, rather than the nation of Taiwan.
"Hsieh can't run for the presidency of a nation that doesn't exist. He should withdraw from the election, form the nation of Taiwan and then run for its presidency," Wu said.
In response, Hsieh yesterday said although the Constitution stipulates that the nation's title is ROC, the fact that Taiwan is a country does not contradict the title.
"People call [the nation] by many different names. So I was emphasizing the fact that Taiwan is a country. There is no need to argue whether we are running for the presidency of Taiwan or the Republic of Taiwan," Hsieh said.
"We have to recognize ourselves as a nation first and then fight for what we want during negotiations with other countries," he said.
Hsieh also criticized Ma for previously saying that Taiwan is a "political entity" because such a comment has prevented Ma from arguing for Taiwan's sovereignty status with other nations.
Earlier yesterday, Hsieh's spokesman Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) urged Ma to specify whether he considers Taiwan an independent state or just part of China.