Wed, May 23, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Ma’s speech vague, conflicting: analysts

SELF-CONTRADICTORY:The president suggested setting up a free-trade area with China, but also said he wanted to join a free-trade group meant to contain China

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Academia Sinica researcher David Huang, Taiwan Brain Trust president Wu Rong-i, Taiwan Association of University Professors president Chang Yen-hsien and People First Party Deputy Secretary-General Liu Wen-hsiung, left to right, speak at a forum about President Ma Ying-jeou’s inauguration speech in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) inaugural speech on Sunday was vague, conflicting and cliched, addressing neither what should be done to solve domestic economic woes nor uphold Taiwan’s sovereignty, political analysts told a forum yesterday.

The president did not address what he would do to rejuvenate Taiwan’s economy, nor did he apologize for a series of ill-advised policies, such as fuel and electricity price increases and the controversy over imports of meat containing the feed-additive ractopamine, said Wu Rong-i (吳榮義), president of the Taiwan Brain Trust think tank, which organized the forum.

Wu desribed the speech as having “one no and four withouts” — meaning Ma showed no -understanding of public opinion, while he failed to apologize for poor policies, showed no self-introspection, insisted on using the “one China” framework and put forward no new ideas.

Ma misinterpreted the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution in his speech because the “outdated” Constitution should not be used to explain Taiwan’s sovereignty and the “status quo,” Taiwan Association of University Professors -president Chang Yen-hsien (張炎憲) said.

Moreover, Chang said, as the president of Taiwan, Ma’s highlighting “Zhonghua Culture (中華文化)” and “Zhonghua Minzu (中華民族)” was “completely impractical” and neglected Taiwan’s traditional culture and values.

“The emphasis on Zhonghua Minzu was just what Beijing wanted to hear because it reaffirmed the connection between Taiwan and China. It also implies that Ma favors eventual unification,” he said.

Ma’s reiteration of the “one country, two areas (一國兩區)” formula suggested “de facto unification,” mislead the international community and legitimized Beijing’s anti-secession law, which was ratified in 2005, said David Huang (黃偉峰), a researcher at Academia Sinica.

The “one country, two areas” proposal raised eyebrows earlier this year when former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) delivered it to Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) during a visit to Beijing.

“It’s clear that the international community recognizes the China in ‘one China’ as the People’s -Republic of China, not the ROC,” Huang said.

People First Party Deputy Secretary-General Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) said Ma had turned his back on the people with his inconsistent policies, arrogance and authoritarianism.

Some of Ma’s policies seemed to be conflicting, Liu said, such as his plan to establish a free-trade area in Greater Kaohsiung to attract Chinese investment and his pledge to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an economic integration that aims to contain China, in eight years.

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