Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) this week came under fire over his speech at a Rotary Club meeting in Taipei on Monday, when he said that Beijing’s military strategy toward Taiwan was “to let the first battle be the last.” If China started a cross-strait war, it would end quickly, without time for other nations to react, he said in his “Cross-Strait Relations and Taiwan Security” address, criticizing President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for saying that she hoped other nations would come to Taiwan’s aid in Beijing’s first wave of attacks.
A president should prevent war from happening, not talk about how many days a nation could last, Ma said.
Taiwan Republic Office members and other independence advocates on Wednesday protested in front of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) headquarters in Taipei, accusing Ma of contravening national security laws, undermining the military’s confidence and selling out Taiwan. They also called on the KMT to expel him. The protest was a nice piece of political theater, but was there anything new in what Ma said — or the remote possibility that the KMT would consider giving him the boot?
Ma and the KMT have long been out of touch with mainstream Taiwanese opinion. He says a president should prevent war from happening, but Taiwanese repudiated his — and his party’s — willingness to sell this nation out without a fight, in his eagerness to wrap the nation’s economy so tightly in China’s tentacles that it would have eventually been smothered.
The spectacular backfiring of the KMT’s efforts to ram Ma’s Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement with Beijing through the legislature in 2014 triggered the Sunflower movement and paved the way for the party’s massive losses in the 2016 elections.
The problem is twofold: One, Ma and the KMT are unable to accept reality or that time and history have passed them by, and two, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) cannot accept a disparity of viewpoints, not to mention its allergy to democracy in even a limited form.
Ma, the KMT and the CCP have been trying to brainwash Taiwanese and the world about the meetings and talks they held in the 1990s and ever since, from the spurious so-called “1992 consensus” to all those cross-strait negotiations under Ma’s administration, as well as his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in Singapore on Nov. 7, 2015.
The KMT and the CCP continue to blindly parrot the myths of unification and of a great “one China,” despite the rising numbers of people killed or imprisoned by Beijing for seeking to uphold the rights to freedom of religion, language and culture guaranteed under the Chinese constitution, and Beijing running roughshod over Hong Kong.
Ma hoped that his Singapore meeting with Xi, the first between the heads of the KMT and the CCP since the end of the Chinese Civil War, would be enough to win him a place in history, but he is doomed to remain a footnote, unlike former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) or Tsai.
On Oct. 5 last year, Ma was scathing in his critique of Tsai’s first term in office, accusing her of relying too much on the US, pointing to the lack of high-level US official visits and the loss of seven diplomatic allies. He alluded to his oft-heard complaint that she is turning Taiwan into a bargaining chip between the US and China.
The truth — however unpalatable it might be to Ma and the KMT — is that Taiwan has been a bargaining chip since 1949, if not the end of World War II. The loss of diplomatic allies is part of Beijing’s long-running campaign to destroy Taiwan, regardless of who is president. Washington’s willingness to send Cabinet officials for a visit, or sell arms and equipment, has more to do with US domestic politics and foreign policy considerations than Taiwanese politics.
Ma should have his eyesight and hearing checked.
During the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum’s third leadership summit on Aug. 31, US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said that the US wants to partner with the other members of the Quadrilaterial Security Dialogue — Australia, India and Japan — to establish an organization similar to NATO, to “respond to ... any potential challenge from China.” He said that the US’ purpose is to work with these nations and other countries in the Indo-Pacific region to “create a critical mass around the shared values and interest of those parties,” and possibly attract more countries to establish an alliance comparable to
On August 24, 2020, the US Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, made an important statement: “The Pentagon is Prepared for China.” Going forward, how might the Department of Defense team up with Taiwan to make itself even more prepared? No American wants to deter the next war by a paper-thin margin, and no one appreciates the value of strategic overmatch more than the war planners at the Pentagon. When the stakes are this high, you can bet they want to be super ready. In recent months, we have witnessed a veritable flood of high-level statements from US government leaders on
Over the past year, the world has observed what many of us in the US Congress have warned about for years: The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is an unreliable partner intent on chasing its ambitions to be the world’s superpower at the expense of its people, its partners and the international community at large. In December last year, the CCP had evidence that a new strain of the coronavirus was infecting and killing Chinese citizens at an alarming rate. Their response was to censor medical professionals and lie to their own people out of fear of tarnishing China’s global image, and
China has long sought shortcuts to developing semiconductor technologies and local supply chains by poaching engineers and experts from Taiwan and other nations. It is also suspected of stealing trade secrets from Taiwanese and US firms to fulfill its ambition of becoming a major player in the global semiconductor industry in the next decade. However, it takes more than just money and talent to build a semiconductor supply chain like the one which Taiwan and the US started to cultivate more than 30 years ago. Amid rising trade and technology tensions between the world’s two biggest economies, Beijing has become