President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday reiterated that cross-strait relations are not state-to-state, and that China cannot be considered by Taiwan as a foreign country.
If cross-strait ties were state-to-state, there would be no need for the Mainland Affairs Council, and relations would be handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Ma said at a meeting of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), of which he is chairman.
However, issues relating to China are also not purely domestic, Ma said, because exports to China are charged import duties and permits are needed for Taiwanese seeking entry into China and Chinese coming to Taiwan.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
These conditions demonstrate that Taiwan and China are in a special relationship, Ma said, reiterating a position that drew criticism when he mentioned in his Double Ten National Day speech last month.
In that address, the president said “cross-strait relations are not international relations,” which opposition politicians said signaled the possibility of unification with China and represented a concession to Beijing.
Ma said yesterday that his views were supported by the Republic of China Constitution, which he said does not allow for “two Chinas,” “one China and one Taiwan,” or an independent Taiwan.
He also cited the Constitution in defending his definition of the cross-strait relationship as one in which Taiwan and China do not deny each other’s authority to govern, but do not recognize each other’s sovereignty.
That definition of cross-strait ties “did not begin when we took office, but was settled when the Constitution was amended more than 20 years ago” and was not changed by his two predecessors, former presidents Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), Ma said.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is seeking to join an Indo-Pacific economic framework being planned by the US, a senior official said. The government is paying close attention to the regional economic pact being touted by US President Joe Biden, although too few details have emerged from Washington for Taipei to make specific plans, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The US is expected to launch the Indo-Pacific economic framework next month after negotiations with Australia, India and Japan, the official said. The economic initiative is to tackle trade facilitation, standards for the digital economy and technology, supply-chain resiliency and
‘NEW YEAR GIFT’: While the MAC called the song propaganda, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said that it addressed the homesickness of ‘Taiwanese compatriots’ A pro-unification pop song aired on Chinese television earlier this month would only further sour Taiwanese sentiment toward China, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said on Wednesday. The music video for We Sing the Same Song (我們同唱一首歌), which aired on China Central Television, features Chinese artists performing alongside Taiwanese singers Jam Hsiao (蕭敬騰), Ouyang Nana (歐陽娜娜) and Chen Li-nong (陳立農). The lyrics were reportedly written by Taiwanese lyricist Vincent Fang (方文山), known for his collaborations with Jay Chou (周杰倫), to music composed by a Chinese musician. Sung in Chinese and Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese), the song is about three Taiwanese siblings who
RULES TIGHTENED: Passengers arriving from Sydney and Los Angeles tested positive for COVID-19, while passengers arriving from Seattle all tested negative Seventeen of the 217 passengers who arrived on long-haul at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday morning tested positive for COVID-19, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said, adding that the positivity rate was higher than expected. Yesterday was the first day that the government enforced stricter health guidelines for the testing of passengers arriving on long-haul flights. They must undergo a polymerase chain reaction test immediately after arriving at the nation’s international airports. Those who test positive are sent directly to hospitals to avoid spreading the virus to people working in and around the airports and at quarantine hotels. Victor Wang (王必勝),
‘CHAOS’: Victor Wang, the CECC’s on-site commander at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, said testing of arrivals has sped up in time to meet holiday demand For now, people are not banned from eating and drinking on trains, despite the rise in locally transmitted cases of COVID-19, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee yesterday. “On Sunday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that the nation would remain on a level 2 COVID-19 alert until at least Jan. 24. So we will follow the center’s disease prevention guidelines for passengers on public transport systems,” Wang said. However, bus and train depots have been asked to disinfect facilities more frequently, he said. The center’s new