Sunday, August 08, 2010

In one fell swoop, Ma dispenses with the PRC

Based on recent comments by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), it would seem that the cross-strait “diplomatic truce” he initiated soon after coming to office either enfeebles the mind, or cannot be explained by anything other than contradictions.

During a roundtable on Monday, Ma was all wisdom when, channeling ancient Chinese philosopher Mencius (孟子), he said the best means by which two countries can get along was for the smaller country to be smart and flexible in dealing with the bigger one.

By smart, we can conclude that Ma meant keeping a low profile, being conciliatory and willing to compromise and not rattling the diplomatic cage — all things that his administration has managed with considerable success.

Just as the churning waters in the Taiwan Strait looked like they might be pacified by Ma the wise, however, the president on Wednesday told visiting Japanese academics that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed in late June was not a treaty signed between two states. The reason?

“We do not recognize China as a state, so our relationship with each other is not one of country-to-country,” Ma said.

So in Ma’s alternate universe, former presidents Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) — who both recognized the existence of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as a sovereign state — were “troublemakers,” and yet the man who would deny Beijing’s legitimacy, and the government of its 1.3 billion people, is somehow a “peacemaker.”

Only in the hallucinatory world of Ma’s cross-strait politics could insulting the larger neighbor by denying its existence be equated with wisdom and peacemaking.

This op-ed, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.


les said...

Boy I am ever relieved to hear the PRC doesn't exist. That means I can stop worrying about it eh?

Stefan said...

Well he is right of course. The PRC doesn't want to be recognized by Taiwan - it has nothing to be gained by that. It wants the ROC to surrender. By reversing Taiwanese policy, Ma enforces Chinese claims on Taiwan's territory. He returns to PRC and ROC being in a civil war - a civil war in which the ROC has been defeated. All that is left is to negotiate the conditions of ROC capitulation.

That makes sense for him, because Ma is the leader of the Chinese National Party and (quite consistently) a Chinese Nationalist. He wants Taiwan to be a Chinese province, just with good positions for the KMT hierarchy in the Chinese government, military and industry.