President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said Taiwan should exercise wisdom when dealing with China, while China should treat Taiwan with benevolence.
Ma, who attended an event organized by a religious group, Yi Guan Dao, in Tainan County yesterday morning, cited a chapter in the writings of Mencius (孟子), a Chinese philosopher, to describe cross-strait ties.
Ma said the best way for two countries to get along was for the smaller country to be smart and flexible in dealing with the bigger country, and for the bigger country to be generous and kind and not to browbeat its smaller counterpart.
“China should practice the principles of benevolence when dealing with Taiwan, and Taiwan should exercise wisdom when working with China,” he said. “Taiwan and China are governed by two separate governments. If the mainland is a big country, then Taiwan is a small country. What Mencius said 2,500 years ago is still applicable today.”
Ma said the core concept of Yi Guan Dao lay in the Chinese culture whose essence was Confucian teaching.
Yi Guan Dao members study the Four Books and the Five Classics, which Ma said helped the readers better understand ancestral wisdom and the knowledge needed to manage a country, society and family.
Ma said “Chinese culture” was not about governing by doing nothing that goes against nature, but about forging ahead without being predatory, or making progress without doing evil.
“Our ancestors did not have modern technology to help them, but they had a set of principles that kept them away from disasters and allowed them to coexist with the environment,” he said.
To read the Four Books and Five Classics was not to learn how to rule a country or the world with Confucian doctrine, Ma said, but to discover what was outdated in them and what was still relevant today in a bid to foster a perspective of the world as a whole.