Wed, May 21, 2008 - Page 3 News List

[ PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION ] Ma’s appeal to Beijing is naive, DPP says

By Flora Wang, Ko Shu-ling and Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Posters of President Ma Ying-jeou and Vice President Vincent Siew are displayed at Taipei Arena yesterday during the inauguration as an honor guard standing outside is reflected in the building’s windows.


The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday dismissed President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) proposal that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait put an end to decades of hostility, calling the idea wishful thinking.

Outgoing DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) described Ma’s inaugural address as “uninspiring.”

Hsieh expressed concern over Ma’s cross-strait policy, warning that it is naive to think “a tiger will not eat a rabbit if the rabbit sings and dances to entertain the tiger.”

After Beijing’s obstruction of Taiwan’s latest bid to join the WHO this year, Hsieh said it was unrealistic to think that China would assist and respect Taiwan’s bid to join any international organization.

The DPP will closely monitor the words and deeds of the new administration, he said, and will work to prevent any compromise on national sovereignty.

Hsieh also criticized Ma’s inauguration speech, saying it was unnecessary to dismiss the achievements of the DPP government and that Ma had insulted the 5.44 million people who voted for the DPP in the presidential election.

Speaking at a separate setting, DPP deputy caucus whip Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) said Ma had highlighted the nation’s financial aid and relief supplies to China following last week’s earthquake, while failing to express any objection to China’s deployment of missiles against Taiwan and its obstruction at the WHO.

Kuan said Ma’s statement that there would be no revisions to the Republic of China’s Constitution under his administration indicated that the referendum and election systems would escape reform, allowing the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to maintain its position as the dominant party.

“This not only demonstrates the KMT’s egoism, but also signals a slowdown in Taiwan’s democratic development,” she said.

DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said Ma had failed to stress the nation’s sovereignty while addressing cross-strait relations during his inauguration speech.

The KMT caucus, meanwhile, lauded Ma’s address.

KMT caucus deputy secretary-general Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) said Ma’s speech demonstrated his wisdom, tenderness and tolerance.

“I believe the world will feel that [this speech] represents a major improvement in cross-strait relations,” he said.

Wu shrugged off the DPP’s criticism of the speech, urging the party not to misinterpret the nation’s goodwill toward China by saying that the president had belittled Taiwan.

Yang Chiung-ying (楊瓊瓔), also caucus deputy secretary-general, said the content of the speech reflected Ma’s “pragmatic” stance on cross-strait issues.

“In contrast to the restricted cross-strait relations during Chen Shui-bian’s [陳水扁] terms, Ma has taken Taiwan’s dignity into consideration while showing goodwill to China [in the speech],” she said.

However, KMT Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) was critical of Ma’s speech, saying that the content was not “penetrating” and “appealing” enough.

Chiu said Ma failed to touch on issues that have a direct impact on people’s lives, such as inflation and soaring commodity prices, nor how he intended to fulfill his campaign promises to achieve annual economic growth of 6 percent, boost per capita income to US$30,000 by 2016 and bring the unemployment rate down to 3 percent.

Meanwhile, Non-Partisan Solidarity Union Legislator May Chin (高金素梅) blasted Ma for not mentioning the rights of Aborigines in his inauguration speech, calling the new head of state indifferent to the subject.

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