Former representative to Japan Koh Se-kai (許世楷) and former minister of foreign affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山) yesterday denounced President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) “one China” policy as the reason Taiwanese businesses are targeted in the anti-China violence in Vietnam.
The “one China” policy, which has Vietnamese mistakenly consider Taiwan as part of China, is what puts Taiwanese businesses operating in Vietnam at risk during anti-China riots, Chen said.
Chen said that, since the 90,000 Vietnamese migrant spouses in Taiwan clearly understand that Taiwan and China are different countries, the Ministry of the Interior should encourage them to exert their influence and to help convey the message that Taiwan is different from China back to Vietnam and that Taiwanese should not punished for problems caused by China
Koh said that since the Ma administration has always been under the sway of China, Ma is unable to quickly react to the Vietnam violence, with the government’s countermeasures all similar to stalling strategies.
He added that he is afraid that the nation is to be lumped together with China when future negotiations about compensation for Taiwanese businesses takes place.
“It would be difficult to have compensation straightened out if we were tied with China,” Koh said.
Chen and Koh made the remarks on the sidelines of a conference in Taipei on Taiwan’s future hosted by the Taiwan New Century Foundation in commemoration of late Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮).
Former foreign ministry official Maysing Yang (楊黃美幸) also said the “one China” policy generated various problems in the international community.
If the government maintained a firm position on differentiating between Taiwan and China, Taiwanese businesses overseas would not have suffered from anti-China violence, she said.
Chen said that the Ma administration has never seriously refuted the claim that China has been repeatedly making about Taiwan’s being a part of China.
This connivance on the government’s part is responsible for the Vietnamese mistaking Taiwan as part of China, so the government is to blame for losses Taiwanese businesses are suffering in Vietnam, he added.
Koh criticized Ma’s “one China” policy as the cause of the international misunderstanding, adding that he always made clear to the Japanese government that Taiwan is an independent country when he was a representative to Japan.
Meanwhile, in related news, a pro-localization group yesterday urged the government to rectify Taiwan’s name after the attacks in the recent Vietnamese demonstrations.
“Foreign nationals easily confused the Republic of China (ROC) with ‘People’s Republic of China,’” Taiwan Association of University Professors president Lu Chung-chin (呂忠津) told a press conference in Taipei.
Citing Taiwanese accounts that the Vietnamese rioters made no distinction between Chinese and Taiwanese because most of the rioters said “Taiwan is part of China,” Lu said the incident shows the nation must quickly rectify its name to “let the international community know that Taiwan and China are two different countries.”
He added that Vietnamese textbooks teach that Taiwan is part of China, “however, regretfully, we did not see the Ministry of Foreign Affairs protest and ask Hanoi to correct the error.”
He said the ministry should hold an international press conference immediately to make clear that Taiwan and China are two different countries and therefore help assure Taiwanese businesspeople’s safety and interests in Vietnam.