Taiwan Matters! The PRC flag has never flown over Taiwan, and don't you forget it!

"Taiwan is not a province of China. The PRC flag has never flown over Taiwan."

Stick that in your clipboards and paste it, you so-called "lazy journalists"!

Thanks to all those who voted for Taiwan Matters!
in the Taiwanderful Best Taiwan Blog Awards 2010!
You've got great taste in blogs!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

permalink

Fallout from Ma interview: probably zero.

Echo Taiwan has covered this latest Ma interview well, but I wonder if we shouldn't draw slightly different conclusions. For one, I think it rhetorically strikes just the note those more moderate voters, especially the moderate blues who gave him the majority in 2008, want to hear, especially in the first paragraph. Take a look for yourself [English version]:

Q: Many people have misgivings that your cross-strait policy is overly slanted toward China. What's your response?

A: Over the past year tension and confrontation in cross-strait ties have abated. But we still have a long road ahead. Crisis lurks everywhere, so we need to proceed with extreme caution. But we need to walk down that road. We don't have an alternative. This is neither surrender nor accepting a diminished status. We take a road based on the preconditions of protecting the sovereignty of the Republic of China and defending Taiwan's dignity.

My platform of no unification, no independence, and no military confrontation is supported by 80 percent of the public. No unification does not mean that we rule out the option of unification, but that we will not discuss unification within my eight years in office. Since it will be impossible to find an answer within these eight years, it does not make much sense to discuss this matter at all.

I often jokingly say that not a single country in the world has declared independence twice. We became a sovereign, independent country as early as 1912. What we really need to do is to oppose a military solution, to put cross-strait issues on hold and launch exchanges and dialogue. They (China) don't want to fight a war either.

Even though some of these methods (employed by China) seem to be a campaign for unification, of course we need to be careful, but we don't need to stand completely still just because of that. I believe that if we take a step-by-step approach, we can be successful. The opposition parties do, of course, stress opposition – they oppose whatever we do. But if you take a closer look at the nine agreements that have already been signed (between Taiwan and China), there is not a single one that says, "one country, two systems," "peaceful unification," or "one China." It's all very neutral stuff.

Q: You have pledged no unification, no independence, and no military confrontation as long as you are in office. But have you ever considered that the fast pace and high level of the exchanges might be conducive to unification in the future?

A: It depends on how you define "conducive to unification." Will the signing of a cross-strait ECFA (Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement) be conducive to unification?

Does Taiwan want unification? That decision must be made by the Taiwanese people. Of course, all the people must express their opinion. We definitely need to hold a referendum. But we have not yet come to that point. Is it necessary to call a referendum just because we sign an agreement on tariff reductions? If we hold a referendum on everything, the government will be paralyzed.

So this breaks down into three parts. First, a demonstration of the tight rope Ma is trying to walk; he claims the one China (the Republic of China) is sovereign and independent, while portraying the opposition's position as a joke. Not that the DPP needs much help to look like a joke nowadays. He also portrays his agreements as practical and completely non-political, downplaying that they have been negotiated under an understanding of adherence to "One China."

His answer to the next question is assertive and positive, so it is framed very well and will not attract much of a negative reaction.

His final answer shows that Ma is really in a tight spot. He cannot say anything more about the option for future Taiwan independence from "mainland" China; more telling, he can neither admit nor deny that his policy is encouraging or hastening unification, since a statement in either direction would damage his reputation either at home or in China. So he has to ask for your definition of "encouraging unification," without providing either his own definition or an answer to the question..

So while his answers here confirm Ma's goal of taking Taiwan toward a future of unification, though without formal agreements on that over the next 8 years, I think he avoided politically damaging language. As usual, different media will focus on the answers they love (or hate).

Labels: ,

9 Comments:

At 11:43 PM, Blogger Taiwan Echo said...

A-gu, glad to see your view on this.

Is there any English translation of the interview from where you cited ?

The order of the paragraphs seems to be inconsistent with that in the Chinese version, and one critical paragraph of Ma's answer (that I cited in my post) is missing. (right after sovereignty of the Republic of China and defend Taiwan's dignity; see the last paragraph below)

Since the text you cited is followed by another question, it looks like that the critical paragraph is omitted.

>>>
問:許多人對你的兩岸政策太過傾斜有疑慮?

答:兩岸部份,這一年下來把緊張跟對立化解了。但前程路途遙遠,而且危機四伏,必須戒慎恐懼步步為營,但這路非走不可,不走沒有別的路,這既不是投降也不是矮化,是從維護中華民國主權,捍衛台灣尊嚴前提下走出一條路來。

我提出的不統不獨不武,八成民眾都支持,不統不是排除統一這個選項,而是在我任期八年內不去討論統一問題,因為這八年不可能有答案,這討論意義不大。
<<<

 
At 1:09 AM, Blogger Άλισον said...

Earlier I checked there was no English version on the Common Wealth Magazine, but now it has

http://english.cw.com.tw/article.do?action=show&id=11115

The title:

Ma Ying-jeou: I Will Be a Rift Mender By Sherry Lee From CommonWealth Magazine
Published: June 18, 2009 (No.424)

I haven't checked it against the Chinese version.

 
At 3:43 AM, Blogger Dixteel said...

I think pan green has to look at what he said and do as an accumulated whole, not just pin point on one or two things at a time.

A lot of stuff he said "make sense." Even for pan green. But at the same time a lot of stuff he said and did is extremely bad (flip-flop, tendency toward culture and economical unification etc). If we just look at one thing at a time, we will probably say "well...70% of it is good, so it's not too bad." But the accumulated effect will be way off. It's like if you walk off course 1 degree, it's probably nothing in 10 meters, but it will make a huge difference if it's 10 km.

Perhaps that is what Ma is doing...changing language, policy, actions and people's mind set very gradually by slipping in stuff here and there. It won't look like much one at a time, but after a few years it might have a huge accumulative effect. I am just speculating, but pan green has to watch out for that, and raise the awareness of the people who don't usually pay attention to politics.

 
At 12:54 PM, Blogger 阿牛 said...

Thanks for the notes Taiwan Echo and Άλισον; I will update the interview using the official translation and right paragraphs.

Dixtell, that is certainly the case and it was also how the DPP got so much of its thinking to become mainstream common sense. It's no surprise the KMT will try the same tactic. I just wonder if it will work the other way around.

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger STOP Ma said...

.
.
.
Here's my 2 cents to this load of bunk (part 1)...

Over the past year tension and confrontation in cross-strait ties have abated.

Give a hungry lion some red meat, and tension and confrontation will be abated, too. So effing what?!

But we still have a long road ahead. Crisis lurks everywhere, so we need to proceed with extreme caution. But we need to walk down that road. We don't have an alternative. This is neither surrender nor accepting a diminished status. We take a road based on the preconditions of protecting the sovereignty of the Republic of China and defending Taiwan's dignity.

With these sweet whispers of nothing, I truly hope the Taiwanese can see through these emptiest of empty words. Extreme caution?! Defending Taiwan's dignity?!! They have kissed China's arse at break-neck speed and have done very little to publicly defend the sovereignty of this country. Does anyone remember a little incident a few moons ago where the R.O.C. flag was treated with the unbridled "dignity of disposal" in front of a high-ranking Chinese official (amongst other "dignified" treatment of Taiwan symbols)? A-gu -- you may be right. This meaningless double-speak may actually not be thrown back at Ma. I can actually believe that, sadly. But this is not the first time PandaMa has said something that is 180 degrees from what actually is...umm...reality.

My platform of no unification, no independence, and no military confrontation is supported by 80 percent of the public.

Can someone please explain to me how you can be "sovereign" but not "independent"? Oh, that's right. In PandaMa's world words have no meaning. But they sure look gooood!

No unification does not mean that we rule out the option of unification, but that we will not discuss unification within my eight years in office. Since it will be impossible to find an answer within these eight years, it does not make much sense to discuss this matter at all.

Here he's saying that he won't call the 500 lb gorilla in the room a gorilla. But he will certainly let this 500 lb gorilla trash the place. The 500 lb gorilla and the effects of the 500 lb gorilla will be referred to as "needed change".

I often jokingly say that not a single country in the world has declared independence twice. We became a sovereign, independent country as early as 1912.

Forgetting for a moment the blatant factual inaccuracy of this statement (I know -- it's KMT fantasy talk), now he states again that Taiwan is independent. A few sentences ago, he said said that there would be no independence. Can someone please tell me how this is "eloquent" and "persuasive"?

What we really need to do is to oppose a military solution, to put cross-strait issues on hold and launch exchanges and dialogue. They (China) don't want to fight a war either.

Really? Then what's the problem then? Oh yeah. Threats of annihilation and 1300+ missiles pointed at an "independent" country for wanting what they already have. Sure they don't "want" to fight a war. But whether they "want" to fight a war is really not the issue, is it? A 500 lb gorilla can do a lot of damage to your home without the owner of that gorilla declaring "war" on you.
.
.
.

 
At 2:46 PM, Blogger STOP Ma said...

.
.
.
(part 2 of 2)...

Even though some of these methods (employed by China) seem to be a campaign for unification, of course we need to be careful, but we don't need to stand completely still just because of that.

No, we'll just ignore that there's a 500 lb gorilla in our home.

I believe that if we take a step-by-step approach, we can be successful. The opposition parties do, of course, stress opposition – they oppose whatever we do.

Yes, of course. Just for the sake of...opposition!


But if you take a closer look at the nine agreements that have already been signed (between Taiwan and China), there is not a single one that says, "one country, two systems," "peaceful unification," or "one China." It's all very neutral stuff.

Yeah...very neutral. Except for the fact that Taiwan will become increasingly dependent on China for it's economy.

It depends on how you define "conducive to unification." Will the signing of a cross-strait ECFA (Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement) be conducive to unification?

Does Taiwan want unification? That decision must be made by the Taiwanese people.


Then give it to them.

Of course, all the people must express their opinion. We definitely need to hold a referendum. But we have not yet come to that point. Is it necessary to call a referendum just because we sign an agreement on tariff reductions? If we hold a referendum on everything, the government will be paralyzed.

Yeah -- wouldn't want to "paralyze" the government now, would we? LOL! Notice how this agreement is pumped up to be an agreement that "MUST" be made -- or else Taiwan will be doomed. But, when it comes to the people deciding the fate of their own destiny -- it's just a bunch of "tariff reductions".

----

How anybody -- including light-blue supporters can not see through this crap is beyond me -- absolutely beyond me. This should be a walk in the park for the DPP when KMT words and actions are so far apart. But no -- they're talking about a referendum on a referendum -- which plays directly into the "can't have a referendum for everything" meme that PandaMa uses above.

Unbelievable.
.
.
.

 
At 5:40 AM, Blogger Dixteel said...

That is a very good analysis, Stop Ma. You completely obliterated Ma's illogical statements.

But the problem is exactly that light blue most likely won't see the deception. Most people take this political stuff fast-food fashion. They don't really read things with a skeptical eyes. Probably Ma knows this and probably that is why he suger coated everything he said, and continue his course with confidence.

That is why I think pan green has to examine these type of things, attack his deception with good reasoning and spread the words...to alarm people to be more skeptical of Ma's words and actions.

 
At 8:48 AM, Blogger DG said...

I like the all green background...it removes any questions as to the likelihood of balance views being presented. Nice job.

And yes, I still owe you a steak dinner.
TainanCowboy

 
At 9:54 AM, Blogger STOP Ma said...

.
.
.
Dixteel,

I absolutely agree with you.

And again, it's not difficult to do given how bad Ma really is at bullshitting. He is a horrible communicator.
.
.
.

 

Post a Comment

What links to this post?:

Create a Link

<< Home

Earlier Posts