The Presidential Office yesterday denied that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had complained about former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) touting the “one country, two areas (一國兩區)” concept to Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) in Beijing without his authorization and insisted that mutual trust across the Taiwan Strait remained strong.
“The ‘one Republic of China [ROC], two areas’ is the cross-strait status as defined by the Constitution and such status has remained unchanged under the administration of three presidents. The public understands the status,” Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) said.
The Presidential Office’s comments follow a report by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) yesterday that Ma complained about Wu and his aides when meeting a guest at the Presidential Office last week.
Ma told the guest that Wu mentioned the concept to Hu during their meeting without his authorization, the report said, adding that Ma’s failure to stress the concept in his inauguration speech on May 20 did not meet Beijing’s expectations, which damaged mutual trust between the two sides.
Wu touted the “one country, two areas” concept during his meeting with Hu in Beijing at an annual forum between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party in March, with Wu suggesting that the two sides belong to “one China.”
The Democratic Progressive Party says the concept damages Taiwanese sovereignty. Ma and the KMT, meanwhile, insist that the concept highlights the sovereignty of the ROC.
In his inauguration speech, Ma stressed the cross-strait “status quo” in addressing cross-strait relations. However, instead of repeating “one country, two areas” and that the two sides belonged to “one China,” he said the “one ROC, two areas” concept was the unchanged cross-strait definition under the Constitution.
The Liberty Times report said that Ma and Wu did not touch upon the “one country, two areas” proposal during their meeting in March before Wu’s visit to the Chinese capital and that Ma was unhappy that Wu and his aides put the proposal in his remarks during the Wu-Hu meeting.
Fan Chiang yesterday said Ma had explored the “one ROC, two areas” concept in his inauguration speech and there was no damage done to cross-strait relations by the proposal.