Mon, Oct 12, 2009 - Page 3 News List

ANALYSIS: Analysts question president*s national identity after low-key Double Ten Day

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

After observing China's high-〝profile National Day celebrations and contrasting them with Taiwan's low-key arrangements for its National Day on Saturday, analysts said this could indicate President Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) wavering concept of national identity.

In stark contrast to China's extravagant celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the Communist Party coming to power in China on Oct. 1, Ma decided in August to cancel this year's Double Ten National Day celebrations in the wake of the devastation caused by Typhoon Morakot.

While the administration may have felt awkward about congratulating Beijing on its special occasion, four presidential advisers were invited to attend the celebration ceremony. Bowing to public criticism, the four invited guests failed to appear after the Presidential Office telephoned them and asked them not to attend the ceremony.

The Presidential Office later admitted that one of the presidential advisers did inform the office of his trip to Beijing and that it had handled the matter ※a bit too slowly.§


Joseph Wu (吳昭燮), a former chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council under former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), said the public backlash over the incident was simple.

"China's national day is the day when the Republic of China [ROC] was kicked out of mainland China and subjugated," he said.

The incident showed the Ma administration was insensitive toward the entanglement between Taiwan and China while it engaged with Beijng, Wu said, adding that the administration's cavalier attitude made the public consider the founding day of the People's Republic of China (PRC) ever more unbearable.

It was clear that the military parade, the first such display in 16 years, was targeted at Taiwan, he said. It only proved that enmity between Taiwan and China has not changed because of the recent cross-strait detente, he said.

Describing Ma's China policy as "impractical," Wu said Ma cited the ROC Constitution to claim that China is part of the territory of the ROC, but such a claim not only ran counter to political reality, but also denied the fact that the ROC exists on Taiwan.

However, Ma's view was consistent with Beijing's interpretation of "one China," Wu said, so Ma did not think it was a big deal to resume negotiations with China under the so-called "1992 consensus." Under the consensus, the KMT administration claimed that Beijing and Taipei agree that both Taiwan and China are part of "one China," but disagree on what that meant.

Wu said Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) has made it clear that Beijing can discuss anything if Taiwan recognizes the "one China" principle. Ma, however, has made only one demand and that is for Beijing to remove its missiles targeted at Taiwan before both sides can sit down and discuss a peace agreement or military confidence building measures.

Once Beijing agrees to Ma's demand, Wu said, Taiwan will have no choice but to accept Beijing's terms even if removing the missiles would not substantially reduce its military might.

Ma did not seem to mind popular concern that Taiwan's sovereignty and national interest could be compromised because he embraced a fictitious "one China," Wu said.

To form a strategic view of itself and balance relations with China, Wu urged the Ma administration to continue the cross-strait policy devised by the former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government.

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