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

On negotiations, Wu called on Ma to conduct thorough studies before he sets his policy. Taking the example of the economic pact the administration seeks to sign with Beijing, Wu said Ma announced it before the Cabinet had assessed its necessity and feasibility.

"It is placing the cart before the horse," he said.

When the DPP was in power, Wu said Washington, Tokyo and the EU were the country's most powerful allies to counter China's suppression on the diplomatic front. During Ma's presidency, however, he depended heavily on Beijing to negotiate with other countries, he said.

Although Taiwan joined the World Health Assembly as an observer this year, Wu said the negotiation process remained a mystery, making the public wonder whether Taiwan's sovereignty was compromised in an under-the-table deal.

"It also makes our friends in the international community think that we don't need their help because we have China," he said.

Wu also expressed concern over Ma's fear of upsetting Beijing, saying it would eventually undermine Taiwan's security. When the administration did not dare speak up for itself, better equip the armed forces or criticize China's human rights record, it is gradually weakening Taiwan*s power, he said.

Domestic reconciliation with the opposition parties is pivotal, Wu said, as a divided Taiwan will only benefit Beijing.

Wu also urged Ma to have an open mind and listen to different voices. Ma does not have to be the smartest leader, he said, but he must capitalize on the expertise of professionals to make the best judgment possible.

LEE

Lee Yeau-tarn (李酉潭), a professor at National Chengchi University's Graduate Institute of Development Studies, said that Ma is bound to encounter difficulties if he believes in the "one China" policy.

"The so-called 'one China' is in the past and maybe it will happen in the future, but it is not going to happen now," he said.

While former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) defined the relationship as "special state-to-state" and his successor Chen Shui-bian said there was one state on either side of the Taiwan Strait, Ma stepped backward to "advocate 'one China," putting himself in an awkward position, Lee Yeau-tarn said.

Lee Yeau-tarn, however, was reluctant to conclude that Ma's China policy is moving toward the "one country, two systems" model of Hong Kong. Lee said he would be happy to acknowledge Ma's effort if the accommodations Ma made were for the interests of Taiwanese.

"But it seems he does not give much thought to the direction of the country, the environment, climate change and Taiwan's core values of freedom and democracy," he said.

If Ma had a clear definition of Taiwan's national identity, Lee Yeau-tarn said, Taiwan could easily maintain relationships with long-term allies such as Washington and Tokyo. Taiwan could also lead China to democratization, he said.

Criticizing China's military parade, Lee Yeau-tarn said only authoritarian regimes such as North Korea hold military parades in the 21st century.

Lee Yeau-tarn said he would not have any problem with Ma's identification with Beijing if China were democratic, but it was "ridiculous" to recognize an autocratic regime that is exhausting all its resources to build up its military might.

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