Questions as to whether President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was misquoted during an interview with foreign media are once again the subject of discussion, adding to a long string of back-and-forth mix-ups.
The Government Information Office (GIO) on Saturday asked a Japanese daily to run a correction on comments about cross-strait relations that were attributed to the president during an interview published last week.
A report by the Yomiuri Shimbun which said that Ma had accepted the “one China” principle was “inconsistent with the facts,” the GIO said, referring to the interview transcript that has since been posted on the Presidential Office Web site.
While the newspaper had yet to reply as of yesterday, the dispute comes in the wake of similar clashes over supposed comments made by Ma during interviews and reporting by foreign media outlets, almost all involving questions on Taiwan-China relations.
Since Ma was elected in 2008, the GIO and the Presidential Office have filed complaints with the El Sol de Mexico, the Wall Street Journal, CNN and The Associated Press, either saying that the president was misquoted or clarifying remarks ostensibly taken out of context.
The previous disputes took place after Ma conducted interviews in English, leading lawmakers from both camps to demand that future sessions take place in Mandarin over fears of misinterpretation to an international audience.
Conducted in Mandarin through a translator, the Yomiuri Shimbun report quoted the president as saying that he would “not rule out engaging China in political negotiations” or signing a cross-strait peace deal on the issue of unification with Beijing.
The Presidential Office transcript confirmed Ma as “not excluding” the two touchy subjects, but Government Information Office Minister Philip Yang (楊永明) maintained that the president did not talk about either the matter of unification or acceptance of the “one China” principle.
Ma only told the Japanese daily that relations would proceed under the principles of “one China, separate representations” and the “1992 consensus,” Yang said.
“There must be a reason why this has happened five times, and each time involving large international media companies,” DPP spokesperson Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said, adding that the -international — and in some cases domestic — perception was that “one China, separate representations” and the “one China principle” were the same thing.
“As a result, the government should be questioning the clarity of its own cross-strait relations, including whether it has conveyed a consistent message internationally and within Taiwan,” Cheng said.
The newspaper on Thursday also questioned Ma about relations with Japan and the US, claims to the -Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) and his nuclear energy policy, but those areas did not come under dispute.
In an earlier statement, the DPP asked that the president be more careful when making remarks to the international press that could be construed as acceptance or even support of Beijing’s “one China” line and eventual political unification.
Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲), a DPP legislator who has commented on past mix-ups, said that he did not see the latest dispute with the Japanese daily as unique.
“I think that we’ve seen this many, many times already. The reporting by a large internationally recognized media company and then the rushed denial by the government. This has led to questions — and concerns — about Ma’s cross-strait message,” Huang said.
Of the Yomiuri Shimbun controversy, he said: “I think the only thing left to do is simply to release the tapes.”
COSTLY TECH FAILURE: More than 25,000 files for nearly 8,000 students from 81 schools were lost when system administrators updated a server, the Ministry of Education said The academic records of 7,854 high-school students have been lost due to a hard-drive failure, the Ministry of Education said yesterday. The records were being stored at National Chi Nan University, which was commissioned by the ministry’s K-12 Education Administration to host a computer server of student portfolios that universities could access to evaluate their applications. Under a program introduced in 2019 for high-school students starting that year, students are to create portfolios to be used for university applications, which include their grades, extracurricular activities and other information related to their character and achievements. System administrators discovered that files were missing when rebooting
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
CONFUSING RESULTS: A New Taipei City worker tested positive for COVID-19 in a rapid test and a PCR test, but negative in a traditional nucleic acid test, the CECC said Travelers from Bangladesh, Brazil and Peru are no longer required to quarantine at a government center, and from Saturday can choose to quarantine at hotels, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The three nations are no longer considered “key high-risk countries,” as their COVID-19 case numbers have continued to fall, the CECC said, adding that no travelers from these countries have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 in the past two months. The revised classification would allow travelers from the three countries to choose where they stay during their mandatory 14-day quarantine, although they would be required to pay
‘TECHNICALITY’: The full moon was at 7:55am, but the Taipei Astronomical Museum said it technically remained a ‘real’ full moon when it rose again at night The Mid-Autumn Festival had a “real” full moon, the first time the astronomical categorization has fallen on the day of the festival since 2013, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said yesterday. The festival, which falls on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar — which this year was yesterday — does not always coincide with an exact full moon, the museum said. A full moon occurs when the Earth is between the sun and the moon — or, more precisely, when the ecliptic longitudes of the sun and the moon differ by 180° — which has a cycle of