The walls of contradiction that President Ma Ying-jeou has erected around his China policy are slowly closing in on him
Last week, for the fifth time in less than three years, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was “misquoted” by foreign media over matters pertaining to his cross-strait policy. Whether he gives his interviews in English or in Mandarin, the response from Ma’s office is always the same: Either the world doesn’t get it, or it is out to get Ma as part of some obscure multinational plot to discredit him.
Considering how much time he and his speechwriters have had to flesh out a comprehensive and intelligible cross-strait policy, it is hard to believe that Ma does not by now have clear formulations with which to explain his plan for dealing with Beijing. One would also assume, with a presidential election just around the corner, that Ma’s office would make every effort to ensure that reporters are able to reproduce their interviews with the president with clarity and accuracy. Besides, Japanese reporters, the latest victims in the streak of misquote accusations, have a reputation for being cautious about checking facts.
However, it could well be that our Janus-faced president has not one China policy, but two ever-shifting and occasionally overlapping policies.
My unsigned editorial, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.