Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) on Saturday questioned whether President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is intentionally pushing forward China-leaning policies after the government commissioned mostly pro-China academics for research projects on South China Sea issues.
For instance, National Chengchi University Institute of International Relations research fellow Liu Fu-kuo (劉復國) and Chinese National Institute for South China Sea Studies president Wu Shicun (吳士存) cohosted a project that produced policy proposals urging Taiwan and China to join forces to protect the territory of “one China” and the implementation of cross-strait military and political cooperation in the South China Sea, Chen said.
Chen said Liu also proposed cross-strait coadministration of reefs in the South China Sea and unifying the administration of the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島) and Itu Aba Island (Taiping Island, 太平島) in China’s newly developed Sansha City on Woody Island (Yongxing Island, 永興島).
Liu said that he no longer holds any position at any Chinese institution, adding that he would not further comment on the issue.
Chen said that the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) also commissioned Academia Sinica Institute of European and American Studies research fellow Song Yann-huei (宋燕輝) to conduct research on the impact of South China Sea disputes on cross-strait relations. Chen said the study called for cross-strait collaboration under the “one China” framework, “since the South China Sea has historically been Chinese territorial waters.”
Song’s research even proposed cross-strait cooperation to defend against US intervention in the South China Sea, Chen said.
Chen also panned the MAC for classifying the research report.
The MAC said that all proposals by academics are evaluated based on the government’s position, and therefore there would be no cross-strait cooperation on the issue under the “one China” framework.
Song said that his research was mostly an analysis of the US’ South China Sea policy with no mention of cross-strait issues. However, he said that he could disclose no further information, as the project was commissioned with the condition that he not share its content.
Chen also questioned why the Ministry of Foreign Affairs endorsed Liu, who clearly has a pro-China stance, to represent the government at the Shangri-La Dialogue.
Ministry spokesperson Anna Kao (高安) said that all participants were invited by forum organizers, and that the ministry did not endorse the participation of any specific individual.
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