President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday reaffirmed his earlier statement that relations between Taiwan and China are not state-to-state, but rather “region-to-region.”
“The relationship between Taiwan and Mainland China is not a state-to-state relationship,” Ma told a forum on constitutional interpretation held in Taipei yesterday.
“Within the framework of our Constitution, I would define the Mainland as ‘Mainland region’ and Taiwan as ‘Taiwan region’ — this is what the Act Governing Relations between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area [台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例] is all about,” he said.
Article 1 of the Act states that it was created to provide a legal basis for exchanges between the Taiwanese and the Chinese “before the unification of the country.”
The statute further defines “Taiwan area” as “Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, as well as all other regions under the rule of the government” and “Mainland area” as “territories of the Republic of China [ROC] outside the Taiwan area.”
Ma said another reason why he would not define the Taiwan-China relationship as state-to-state was because “according to our Constitution, we cannot recognize that there is another country on the mainland, which is part of the ROC.”
Ma said that his definition did not downgrade Taiwan’s sovereignty, as it was based completely on the Constitution and the statute.
“This view is apparently acceptable to everyone, since neither former president Lee Teng-hui [李登輝] nor the former Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] has tried to change the statute,” he said.
Yesterday was not the first time Ma has made such comments. In an interview with the Mexican newspaper El Sol de Mexico in September, Ma made a similar statement, drawing sharp criticism.
Ma’s comments marked a complete change from the path taken by both Lee and former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). When he was in office, Lee said the relationship between Taiwan and China was a “special state-to-state” relationship, while Chen simply said it was “state-to-state.”
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) immediately lauded Ma’s definition of cross-strait relations as “logically accurate, legally appropriate” and a “clear interpretation of political reality.”
“This is exactly what the core spirit of the ROC Constitution is,” Wu said.
However, DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) criticized Ma’s remark as “just the opposite to the political reality.”
“How is the mainland part of the ROC’s territory? How is the People’s Republic of China [PRC] not a country?” Huang asked. “This is total nonsense.”
He rebutted Ma’s claim that the DPP clearly approved of the statute because it had not attempted to revise it when it was in power.
“We couldn’t really change the law because we were a minority in the legislature — but that doesn’t mean we accept it,” Huang said. “In fact, we tried everything we could in our administrative power to strengthen Taiwan’s sovereignty.”
Chow Mei-li (周美里), spokeswoman of the Taiwan Solidarity Union, also disagreed with Ma.
“The ROC recognized the PRC as soon as former president Lee abolished the Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion [動員戡亂時期臨時條款] and put an end to the Chinese Civil War,” Chow said in a telephone interview.
“What Ma said today would not only be rejected by China, but also unacceptable to all Taiwanese,” Chow said. “I’d like to remind him not to forget that he was elected by the people.”
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
PIVOTAL ROLE: Taiwan’s importance in the global chip supply chain can be bolstered by domestic equipment manufacturing, President Tsai Ing-wen said Efforts must be made to better secure Taiwan’s place in the global supply chain by localizing production of equipment and facilities used by the semiconductor industry, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. Tsai discussed the issue during a meeting with representatives from the Taiwan Electronic Equipment Industry Association at the Presidential Office in Taipei. Product shortages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — particularly of automotive chips — highlighted the pivotal role of Taiwan in the global supply chain, she said. Tsai thanked the association for cooperating with the government on the shared goal of localizing production of important semiconductor industry equipment.
SEPARATE CASE? A woman tested positive when she went with her daughter to be tested, because her daughter had taken the same bus to school as a steakhouse worker The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 10 local COVID-19 cases, six of whom had visited a steakhouse in Taoyuan where an infection cluster has been reported. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that of the 10 local infections, one case — No. 17,928 — is a Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport disease prevention staffer who works in the area where inbound travelers collect their saliva for a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and sometimes at the fever screening station. The staffer had tested negative in a PCR test on Jan. 9 and
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is to use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in a bid to revitalize the party’s archives, KMT officials said yesterday at a news conference in Taipei that showcased a ceremonial sword belonging to Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), the first piece of the collection to be utilized in the project. NFTs are a blockchain technology used for digital files that provide proof of ownership or a certificate of authenticity. KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Lin Chia-hsing (林家興), who is also the curator of the archives, said that digitizing the collection is part of the party’s efforts to revamp its