The pan-green camp yesterday accused President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of undermining the nation’s sovereignty by describing cross-strait ties as “non-state-to-state” relations and staying silent on China’s controversial new passports.
On Wednesday, China’s Association of Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) dismissed Taiwan’s protest over the inclusion of several tourists attractions in Taiwan on new Chinese passports as “invalid” and said that only “pro-independence activists” had made a “fuss” over the matter.
In his speech that same day, Ma said cross-strait relations are “non-state-to-state” relations, but a special relationship because while the two sides do not recognize each other’s sovereignty, neither do they deny each other’s existence.
The DPP legislative caucus said the president had belittled Taiwanese sovereignty and his inaction over China’s provocative move implied that Taiwan is part of China.
While Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said on Thursday that Beijing’s response on the passport issue misrepresented the situation and it should pay greater attention to the indignation it has aroused in Taiwan, that was mere rhetoric and the Ma administration has yet to take substantial action, DPP Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) said.
The DPP caucus also criticized Ma and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) for yesterday blocking a DPP proposal urging the president to call an international press conference on the passport issue for the third time this month.
A proposal urging Beijing to release imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波) and his wife, who is under house arrest, was also blocked, Pan added.
If China failed to respond to Taiwan’s call positively, Pan said the Taiwanese government should suspend all cross-strait negotiations as retaliation.
Ma likes to invent terms of “creative ambiguity,” such as “non-state-to-state” relations and the “institutionalization of cross-strait reconciliation,” to deal with cross-strait relations, DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said.
“However, the approach is risky because it has blurred actual relations between Taiwan and China — which are both independently governed — and could further jeopardize Taiwan’s diplomatic relations,” Lee said, citing recent moves by several Central American diplomatic allies, including Honduras, to establish economic offices in China as an example.
The DPP’s Department of China Affairs also issued a press releasing demanding that the president call an international press conference to condemn China’s moves and to present concrete measures to stop China’s encroachment on Taiwan’s sovereignty.
Meanwhile, at a press conference held on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office yesterday, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) said Ma no longer qualifies as a head of state with his “special relationship” comments.
“A president who does not recognize the sovereignty of his own country does not qualify as a head of state,” TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) said.
Ma has flip-flopped on the issue, Huang said, adding that if Taiwan were not a state, Ma’s advocacy of “one China with different interpretations” does not make sense.
Speaking about Ma’s intention to pursue a cross-strait peace agreement, Huang said what happened in Tibet in the 1950s was a perfect example of how Beijing hides its political agenda to achieve its aims.