Wed, Oct 08, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Ma refers to China as ROC territory in magazine interview

By Ko Shu-Ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has said mainland China is the territory of the Republic of China (ROC) in an interview with a Japanese magazine, the first time Ma has made the official claim since he took office in May.

Ma said under the ROC Constitution, the ROC “definitely is an independent sovereign state, and mainland [sic] China is also part of the territory of the ROC.”

The interview was published yesterday.

Ma said despite the stipulation of the ROC Constitution, Taiwan cannot recognize the existence of another country, nor does China want to recognize Taiwan. In other words, under the ROC Constitution, “mainland China” is not a country.

Ma said he has made a lot of efforts to improve relations with Beijing since he took office based on the principle that the measures put Taiwan first and serve the interest of the people. To improve the trade relations with “mainland China” is an important part of Taiwan’s internationalization effort, he said.

In addition to improving cross-strait trade, Ma said he had made efforts to improve ties with the international community with the goal of obtaining a reasonable space for Taiwan in the international arena.

The ultimate goal is to end hostility with Beijing, sign a peace agreement with China and march down the road of sustainable peace and prosperity, he said.

Speaking with Mexican newspaper Sol de Mexico in August, Ma defined ties between Taiwan and China as “special relations,” reversing a decade-long government position.

The Presidential Office later elaborated on the text, saying that under the 11th Amendment to the Constitution and the Statute Governing the Relations Between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), the relationship between Taiwan and China is one between two regions.

“It is between the ‘Taiwan region’ and the ‘mainland region,’” Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said at the time.

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