President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) did not denigrate the country’s sovereignty or move toward de-Taiwanization by describing Taiwan as a region, Presidential Office spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said on Monday.
Wang was referring to Ma’s redefinition of the cross-strait status quo as “a special relationship, but not a relationship between states” in an interview with a Mexican newspaper last month.
Wang said Ma did not create the term “Taiwan region” to blur the country’s sovereignty, saying that Ma’s new characterization of the cross-strait relationship as one between the “Taiwan region” and the “mainland region” was in accordance with the Republic of China (Taiwan) Constitution.
Based on the constitutional framework, both regions are part of the Republic of China’s (ROC) territory, but only the “Taiwan region” is under the rule of the ROC, Wang said.
The ROC is an independent sovereign state, the spokesman said. Both sides of the Taiwan Strait are ruled separately and should treat each other equally as defined in the ROC Constitution, which was amended in 1991, Wang said.
Wang denied that Ma’s theory undermined the country’s sovereignty, saying it was undeniable that the ROC is an independent sovereignty and that the relationship between the two regions is an equal one.
Taiwan can move toward improving cross-strait relations without fear of downgrading the country’s sovereignty, Wang said.
Wang cited Ma’s use of the term “Taiwan” 43 times in his inaugural address, compared with the nine references to the “Republic of China” as an indication that Ma was not downgrading Taiwan’s sovereignty.
Ma also said that the ROC spent a brief 38 years in China, but has spent nearly 60 years in Taiwan Wang said. During these last six decades, the destinies of the Republic of China and Taiwan have been intertwined.
Ma said that ROC founding father Sun Yat-sen’s (孫逸仙) dream of a constitutional democracy was not realized in China, but today it has taken root, blossomed and borne fruit in Taiwan, Wang said.
Regarding the changing of Taiwan Post Co’s (台灣郵政) name back to Chunghwa Post Co (中華郵政) soon after Ma took office, Wang said the decision was reached at a board meeting in July and was being implemented in accordance with the law, as the company’s original adoption of Taiwan Post had not followed legal procedures.
As for the former Democratic Progressive Party’s decision to add the word “Taiwan” in English on the ROC passport cover and official documents to make them more easily identifiable, Wang said Ma supported the practice because it did not violate the law.
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