Beijing yesterday praised President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) call for Taiwanese to refer to China as “mainland China” or “the other side,” a move that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said constituted political manipulation.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Yang Yi (楊毅) said that Chinese officials had seen reports of Ma’s comment on the matter and they welcomed the move wholeheartedly.
“There is only one China in the world and the mainland and Taiwan belong to China,” Yang said. “Before the two sides are unified, the fact that the mainland and Taiwan are part of China remains unchanged.”
Yang made the remarks during a question-and-answer session at a weekly press conference in Beijing.
Ma suggested that government officials refer to China as “mainland China” or “the other side” verbally or in written documents at a tea party with leading government and legislative officials on Feb. 7.
DPP legislators have accused Ma of denigrating Taiwan’s sovereignty by using such designations.
Presidential Office spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) defended Ma’s call, citing Article 11 of the amendments to the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution, which he said stipulates that the rights, obligations and relationship of the people of the “free area and mainland area” must be regulated by special laws.
Article 2 of the Act Governing Relations Between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) also defines the “mainland area” as ROC territory outside the “Taiwan area,” he said.
Ma has said that China is part of ROC territory, as stated in the Constitution.
Meanwhile, Yang yesterday offered a boilerplate answer to the question by a Taiwanese reporter as to why China was pressuring Taiwan to change the name it used at the Conference of Governors of South East Asian Central Banks.
“Regarding the issue of Taiwan’s participation in international organizations or activities, our attitude and position remain clear,” Yang said. “The two sides can make perfectly logical and reasonable arrangements through pragmatic negotiations under the precondition that there are no ‘two Chinas’ or ‘one China and one Taiwan.’”
As for Ma’s intention to seek re-election next year, Yang said Chinese officials had seen related reports and he emphasized that peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait was important.
“The peaceful development of cross-strait relations meets the expectations of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and brings genuine interest to them,” he said. “We are willing to work together with Taiwan to continue to push forward the peaceful development of cross-strait ties.”
Reacting to Beijing’s warm reception of Ma’s comments, the DPP yesterday accused Beijing of choosing sides, adding that this constituted political manipulation.
It also showed how Ma’s remarks have played “straight into Beijing’s hopes, interests and ways of thinking,” DPP spokesperson Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) told the Taipei Times last night.
“Inadvertently, perhaps, Ma has fulfilled China’s ‘one China’ policies through those remarks, shown by the comments from the Taiwan Affairs Office,” he said.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY VINCENT Y. CHAO
Two Japanese virtual YouTubers (VTubers) were suspended by their employers on Sunday after mentioning Taiwan and showing the national flag during a livestream, stoking controversy that was inflamed further when it was discovered that their management company issued distinct apologies in Japanese and Mandarin. While reading YouTube analytics over livestream on Thursday and Friday last week, Hololive VTubers Kiryu Coco and Akai Haato named Taiwan as contributing a high percentage of viewers. Users on the Chinese video streaming platform Bilibili were quick to criticize the two and report their accounts, prompting Hololive’s parent company, Cover Corp, to suspend the streamers for three
NO SIGN OF WAR: Only if Taiwanese showed determination to defend the nation would others be willing to help in the event of a Chinese attack, the premier said Should China launch a war against Taiwan, the military would fight to the last standing person, Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) said yesterday, adding that the nation has fully fleshed-out defense strategies. “Beijing has continued its acts of provocation against Taiwan, but there are currently no signs that it is ready to launch a full-scale war,” Yen said at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. Asked how long Taiwan could withstand an attack from China, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said: “Taiwan will not fall.” Any belligerent force that initiates acts of war would pay a heavy price, and so too would Beijing,
MISTAKE: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is not a UN body, and the government is committed to protecting the nation’s name, Joseph Wu said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its Web site, and asked that it correct the error. The organization was inaugurated in Brussels in 2016 as a global coalition of mayors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Six Taiwanese cities at the time joined the coalition as cities in “Taiwan,” the ministry said. However, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government — one of the organization’s members — last week noticed that the city was now listed on the organization’s Web site as a
MOTHERLAND? Taiwanese who take part in China’s National Day celebrations could be fined NT$100,000 to NT$500,000 if found to have contravened Taiwanese laws The Ministry of Culture yesterday cautioned China-based Taiwanese artists against breaching Taiwanese law by taking part in China’s National Day celebrations. The ministry issued the statement following media reports that Ouyang Nana (歐陽娜娜) is to sing a popular Chinese patriotic song titled My Motherland (我的祖國), and Angela Chang (張韶涵) is to sing Protect (守護) with Chinese entertainers at an event to mark China’s National Day on Thursday. The Mainland Affairs Council is investigating whether such behavior contravenes regulations in the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), the ministry said. If the behavior involves matters