Both Beijing and President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration have disgraced themselves as their denouncements of former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) indicate their “outdated ways of thinking,” former representative to Japan Koh Se-kai (許世楷) said yesterday.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Taiwan Affairs Office on Friday made hard-hitting comments about Lee’s visit to Japan, on the heels of Presidential Office spokesperson Charles Chen’s (陳以信) statement earlier that day that Lee had “humiliated” the nation and “forfeited its sovereignty” when he said that the disputed Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), known as the Senkakus in Japan, belong solely to Japan. The islands are claimed by Taiwan, China and Japan.
Lee reiterated his position on the issue when answering questions at a meeting at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo on Thursday.
In a press release, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang (陸慷) called Lee a “stubborn Taiwan splittist” and condemned Tokyo for assisting his visit and becoming involved in Taiwan separatist activities despite the objections of Beijing.
Saying that the Taiwan issue concerns China’s “core interests,” Lu urged Japan to stick to the “one China” policy and abide by the political principles stated in their bilateral political documents, including the Japan-China Joint Communique of 1972, to “refrain from creating a new political barrier for the two countries.”
Late on Friday night, Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) said China opposes any country providing a political platform for Taiwan separatist activities.
Ma Xiaoguang echoed Chen’s condemnation of Lee over the issue of the Diaoyutai Islands while also joining the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) and the party’s spokesperson Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) in castigating Lee for his remarks that “glamorized Japan’s colonial rule in Taiwan.”
Lee’s “despicable” behavior shows that forces advocating Taiwan independence have caused “extreme harm” to peaceful development of cross-strait relations and to the interests of zhonghua minzu (中華民族, people of Chinese ethnicity), which will surely be “spat on by compatriots from both sides,” Ma Xiaoguang said.
Koh, who was the nation’s representative to Japan from 2004 to 2008 under the Democratic Progressive Party administration, yesterday said that Beijing has “overreacted” to Lee’s visit.
“Former president Lee has been out of office for more than 15 years. As an ordinary citizen, he should not be subject to any limits on overseas visits. China is such a big country. How could it be so small-minded?” Koh said.
The way Ma’s administration, the KMT and Beijing reacted to Lee’s visit, during which he advocated the values of democracy, mutual respect and the rule of law, was a manifestation of their lack of understanding of values that have been universally embraced in the modern era, Koh said.
Koh said the development of human rights has long arrived at a point where people have the right to decide their own place in the international order, while the KMT and the Chinese regimes still adhere to a kind of nationalism that dates back to the eighteen century.
“Zhonghua minzu has never existed at all,” Koh said. “It is the right of the people in Taiwan, Xinjiang and Tibet to decide their destinies irrespective of a concept created by China aimed at enforcing its territorial and political borders.”
As the US has actively sought to become a stronger presence in Asia and with its alliance with Japan being the cornerstone of its policy in the region, mainly in response to China’s growing assertiveness, what Lee has proposed in Tokyo would greatly benefit Taiwan, Koh said.
“Taiwan has to ally itself with the US and Japan to reject China’s planned annexation,” he said.
When asked to comment specifically on Beijing’s denouncement of the former president, the Mainland Affairs Council avoided a direct response, saying only that the Republic of China’s (ROC) claim over the Diaoyutai Islands should be respected by all parties so the dignity of the nation can be upheld.
Separately yesterday, KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) said he disapproved of the assertion of Lee that the Diaoyutai Islands are rightfully Japan’s.
The Diaoyutais and all the islands in the South China Sea are integral territory of the ROC, Chu said.
“I would never concur with the view that the Diaoyutai Islands and South China Sea islands do not belong to the ROC no matter who is behind the contention,” Chu said.
‘LOW PROBABILITY’: China still ‘has a ways to go to develop the actual, no-kidding capability’ to seize Taiwan militarily, US General Mark Milley said The US’ top general on Thursday downplayed concern that China would attempt a military takeover of Taiwan in the near term, saying Beijing does not have the capability to do so. While there has been rising concern in Taiwan and among US lawmakers about Chinese military activity near Taiwan, such as flying jets in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), US military officials said that such moves are not overly concerning. US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley told lawmakers that while Taiwan was still a core national interest of China, “there’s little intent right now, or motivation,
A Kaohsiung woman who thought that she was dating Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves was found not guilty of abetting fraud, the Kaohsiung District Court has ruled. Citing insufficient evidence to prove intent, the court on May 27 dismissed fraud and money-laundering charges against the woman, surnamed Chang (張), saying that the evidence suggested that she had been duped. The verdict can be appealed. The verdict said that police opened an investigation into Chang after her bank account was linked to an online catfishing scheme, which involves luring someone into a relationship by using a fictional online persona. The scheme claimed two victims, including a
The Canadian House of Commons on Thursday unanimously passed the first reading of a proposal to create a legal framework for efforts to strengthen relations with Taiwan. The Canada-Taiwan Relations Framework Act was introduced by Canadian Member of Parliament Michael Cooper, who said that not having a formal diplomatic relationship with Taiwan has complicated interactions between the two nations. Taiwan is one of Canada’s largest trading partners, and the two share strong people-to-people links and common values, he said. Taiwan “is a vibrant economy and one of the world’s top 20 economies. It is time Canada’s relations with Taiwan reflect
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday condemned Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Institute of Revolutionary Practice director Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) for calling the government a “vaccine beggar” for receiving a donation of COVID-19 vaccines from the US. “Lo is still living in feudal China,” DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) told a news conference. “When Taiwan needs unity, he uses malicious words to malign our president’s character and Taiwan’s national integrity. This person is either evil or he is completely ignorant,” she said. Taiwan donated 2 million masks to the US, and provided 2 million masks and 50,000 protective gowns to Japan when they