President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday in an address to military personnel stressed his definition of Taiwan-China relations as a “special relationship,” and said that the military must recognize the status of cross-strait relations while prioritizing its duty to ensure national security.
“The Constitution states that the Republic of China [ROC] government is a sovereign state. ‘Mainland China’ is part of the ROC’s territory in accordance with the Constitution. However, Taiwan cannot deny the existence of the Chinese government being the de facto authority on the mainland,” he said.
“Cross-strait relations are non-state-to-state relations. It is a special relationship because the two sides do not recognize each other’s sovereignty, but would not deny each other’s existence ... How do we promote cross-strait relations if we don’t have such recognition?” he said in a speech to a military promotion ceremony held by the Ministry of National Defense at the Armed Forces Officers’ Club in Taipei.
Reiterating his “three noes” policy, Ma said the government would continue to promote cross-strait relations and peace across the Taiwan Strait under the basis of the (so-called) “1992 consensus.”
“The cross-strait status is defined in accordance with the Constitution, and the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are able to put aside disputes and pursue a win-win situation by promoting peace across the Taiwan Strait,” he said.
The “three noes” are a policy proposed by Ma in 2008: no pursuit of unification, no Taiwanese independence and no use of force in handling cross-strait relations.
Ma’s reiteration of cross-strait relations came after New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) called on him to push ahead with cross-strait negotiations on unification and abandon his “three noes” policy.
Yok, whose party favors unification, also expressed concern about Ma’s low approval ratings amid public discontent over the government’s performance, and suggested that Ma should not seek re-election as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman so he can focus his efforts on national affairs.
Ma insisted that his administration would pursue cross-strait peace while maintaining the “status quo” across the Strait.
He said the military would maintain a small, but strong force to ensure the nation’s security.
He also called on military personnel to maintain integrity as a basic standard, while promising that the government will make more of an effort to take care of veterans amid concerns about the cutting of year-end bonus for some retired civil servants and military personnel.