The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday defended President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) latest remarks on cross-strait relations, and criticized former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for describing the Republic of China (ROC) as a government-in-exile three years ago.
The KMT said Ma’s comments that cross-strait ties are not international relations were made in accordance with the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例), which defined the two sides of the Taiwan Strait as the “Taiwan” region and “the mainland China” region.
“President Ma’s remarks are consistent with the notion in the Constitution and the act. If the DPP did not agree with the Constitution, why did Tsai not oppose the notion when she was serving as the chairperson of the Mainland Affairs Council?” KMT Culture and Communication Committee director Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) said.
Ma said in his Double Ten National Day speech that cross-strait ties are not international relations, sparking concerns about the remark’s impact on Taiwan’s sovereignty.
Opposition camp leaders, including Tsai and DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), accused Ma of taking a step toward unification with China without seeking public consensus on the issue.
Fan Chiang criticized Tsai for saying three years ago that the ROC government was a government-in-exile, saying that such a statement belittled the national dignity.
Tsai suggested in a speech at a book launch on May 25, 2010, that from Taiwan’s perspective, the ROC government was a Chinese authoritarian government that had dominated Taiwanese politics for the past six decades. However, she also said that in the past few decades, with the rise of Taiwan’s democracy movement and replacement of Chinese interests with Taiwanese interests, the ROC government had become both legitimate and sovereign.
Meanwhile, Ma, who also doubles as the KMT chairman, and Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) visited Chiayi to meet with local party members, seeking to strengthen party unity amid recent political strife between Ma and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).
In response to party members urging Ma to reconcile with Wang, he said that it is a president’s duty to defend the judicial system under his administration. He also reiterated that the KMT continued to encourage Wang to appeal to the party’s Integrity Committee to retain his party membership.
Ma’s visit to Chiayi met with a protest led by local pan-green politicians.
They shouted: “Step down, Ma Ying-jeou,” and threw shoes as Ma’s motorcade entered the venue, but the police stopped the protesters from getting close.