Taiwan’s diplomacy is in jeopardy under President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) advocacy of a “diplomatic truce,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, adding that the idea is tantamount to a unilateral disarmament of Taiwan.
“Taiwan’s isolation internationally is a result of China’s oppression. Ma, as the nation’s leader, should find a way to safeguard Taiwan’s international status and highlight the unreasonableness of China’s suppression,” Tsai said in a speech delivered at a forum on “Taiwan’s Security Policy under the New Administration” hosted by the Institute for Taiwan Defense and Strategic Studies.
“But instead, the new government is trying to negotiate with the country’s persecutor and to offer: ‘I won’t struggle. Don’t hit me,’” she said, referring to the modus vivendi approach put forth by Ma for dealing with China.
Tsai said that although the new government has only been in operation for less than 100 days, its national security policy is causing “worry, distrust and unease” among the people and is leading Taiwan toward a “dangerous state.”
She accused the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government of being “narrow-minded” by believing that all the problems currently faced by Taiwan will be solved as long as relations with China improve.
As such a security policy must rely on Beijing’s goodwill in order to be successful, the government has already started making various concessions before China has even offered its terms and conditions, she said.
Besides the “diplomatic truce,” Tsai also described the KMT administration’s liberalization policy toward cross-strait economic and trade activities as “reckless.”
Tsai expressed displeasure at a recent statement by Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) that “Taiwan stands great chances of winning medals as one of the home teams,” saying that the statement demonstrates China’s insincerity toward Taiwan.
Tung Chen-yuan (童振源), a professor on China’s political economy at National Chengchi University, and a panelist at the forum told the audience that Ma’s ambiguous approach on the issue of sovereignty is weakening the country’s national identity.
Citing examples, Tung said that while Ma insisted on the existence of the so-called “1992 consensus” — which says both sides of the Strait recognize there is only one China, but agree to differ on its definition — government and KMT officials never asked or challenged Chinese officials to state China’s view on its definition of “one China with different interpretation.”
Ma’s previous remarks saying that he would not mind if China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) addresses him as “Mr Ma” if he visits Taiwan later this year was another example of Ma not upholding Taiwan’s sovereignty, Tung said.
In addition, he said, Ma also advocates using the name “Chinese Taipei” for Taiwan’s bid to join various international organizations. Another panelist, June Dreyer, a professor of political science at the University of Miami, said the examples cited by Tung suggested Taiwan is weakening its own sovereignty.
“We can not see and touch sovereignty, but we can exercise sovereignty. If we do not exercise sovereignty, we are gradually losing it,” she said, adding that it seems that Ma has been showing goodwill to China, but China does not show any goodwill in return.