The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus yesterday said President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has gained tacit recognition of the Republic of China (ROC) from Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) and taken a “remarkable first step” toward facilitating communication between leaders on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Speaking at a news conference in Taipei, KMT caucus whip Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) said that Ma has responded to the public’s expectations by defending the nation’s dignity, citing the Constitution in his explanation to Xi of his stance against Taiwanese independence and Taiwan and China being two separate entities in the international community.
Lai also touted Ma broaching the so-called “1992 consensus” with Xi when they met in Singapore.
Lai said that requests to let Taiwan join the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Trans-Asian Railway Network met with goodwill, as Xi had ordered Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Director Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) to grant Taiwan the memberships “by appropriate means.”
Referring to a three-point statement by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) prior to the meeting, Lai said that Ma had fulfilled at least two requirements that Tsai had said would make his meeting with Xi a “historic” one.
Ma has lived up to Tsai’s expectations of “keeping Taiwanese democracy and freedom intact” and “ensuring equality and Taiwan’s dignity,” Lai said, adding that the “1992 consensus” might however not have met Tsai’s proposition that Ma not set any preconditions going into the meeting.
KMT Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) said that Ma has taken a “remarkable first step” toward resolving issues across the Taiwan Strait.
Ma’s use of the Constitution to dismiss the notion of Taiwanese independence has made him the first president to have a Chinese president acquiesce to the existence of the ROC and its Constitution, Alex Tsai said.
This sends a clear message that so long as Taiwan abides by the Constitution, Beijing should not use Taiwanese independence as a pretext to elevate tensions between the two sides, he added.
He said that when Ma told Xi that Taiwanese are concerned about missiles Beijing has targeting the nation, Xi assured him that they were not directed at Taiwan.
“This is a promise that is open to our interpretations. We now have the right to interpret whether any of China’s deployment of troops or missiles is hostile toward Taiwan. We can use it as a reference in future discussions and ask them to deliver on this promise,” Alex Tsai said.
Alex Tsai said that the leaders on both sides of the Taiwan Strait will be able follow the “model” created by Ma and Xi to maintain peace and manage crises.
“Look up any publication or dissertation on international tensions and it will tell you that the Taiwan Strait is a danger zone. This danger zone must be removed, and President Ma has made exultant contributions in this respect,” he said.
He urged people to be prepared for assaults and slanderous remarks unleashed on Ma — by what he called “pan-green pundits” — aimed at debasing the “historic achievements” made in Singapore.
KMT Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) lashed out at Tsai Ing-wen, saying that she was both “arrogant” and “green with envy” for attempting to define what a “historic moment” would be.
“A historic moment is one that is witnessed by all the media, not something that meets Tsai Ing-wen’s definition. She is obviously green with envy. To think that she can set rules on what makes a historic moment is plain arrogant,” Wang said.
KMT presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫) prior to the meeting said that one should not hesitate to “do the right thing.”
Chu made the remark on the sidelines of a sermon attended by Buddhist monks.
“People should look at the first meeting between the leaders of each side of the Taiwan Strait in 66 years with a broad perspective and an open mind. Any preconceived notion is bad for Taiwan,” Chu said.
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