China must agree to discuss dismantling its missiles pointing at Taiwan before talks can be held, Kuomintang Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said in comments aired Saturday by Taiwan's ETTV Station.
"No one likes to live under the threat of guns, knives or warheads of missiles. This should be included in the agenda if we hold talks in the future," he said.
Ma, who is viewed as a shoo-in for KMT nomination in the 2008 presidential election, made the comments to a group of Taiwanese and Chinese students at Cambridge University in England.
No mincing words for our Ma. Nope, he just spits it right out, in the best fools-rush-in manner. In case there should be any confusion about what Ma, the Chairman of the KMT, actually meant, the KMT whip reinforced this on Sunday:
KMT caucus whip Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆) on Sunday added that Beijing has no chance of forcing Taiwan to negotiate under the threat of its missiles.
That was apparently too much truth for the Forces of Weasel, however. Today the KMT was in a panic as Ma's statements conflicted with the mainlander theology that China is the source of All That Is Good:
The nation's main political parties fought a war of words over cross-strait relations yesterday, with the top pan-blue leader backtracking on his stance regarding talks with China, while a pan-green lawmaker dubbed the opposition's policies hypocritical.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said in London yesterday during an interview with Taiwanese and British reporters that engaging in negotiations with China to seek a breakthrough in relations remains the only way for Taiwan to solve thorny cross-strait issues peacefully.
Even in the face of more than 700 missiles targeting Taiwan, the country's leadership should seek to negotiate with China and solve the differences between the two sides to achieve permanent peace across the Taiwan Strait, Ma said.
Oops! Even Nixon can go to China, but Ma simply lacks the dangling round ones to say flat out that the Source of All That Is Good In The World may well be in the wrong. Ma's position is now that Taiwan should negotiate even though China points missiles at Taiwan....what a great idea! Boy, nobody's ever had that one before, eh? I can feel the world-epoch turning, and the dawn of a new age! For those us who enjoy the spectator sport aspect of local politics, there was a nice reversal of roles too:
"Wishful thinking!" That's a line that the KMT usually aims at Taiwan independence. Mr. Chen must have relished delivering that crack.
Yesterday, DPP caucus whip Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻) accused Ma, who is viewed as a shoo-in to win the KMT nomination in the 2008 presidential election, of irresponsibly making remarks aimed only at gaining support for his presidential bid.
Saying that cross-strait relations are not built upon slogans or one-sided wishful thinking, Chen asked Ma to shed light on remarks he made last month to Newsweek calling for "eventual unification."
Meanwhile, the Taipei Times goes on to report, Wang Jin-pyng, Ma's rival for leadership in the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), seems not to have gotten the Word from the top, for he is still on the old message:
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (
王金平) also weighed in with his view, voicing support yesterday for "missile talks" with China.
Wang said that he agrees with Ma's position that Taiwan should not hold talks with China if Beijing refuses to dismantle the missiles aimed at Taiwan.
Saying that Taiwan and China should discuss the issue to break the current impasse across the Taiwan Strait, Wang said the people of Taiwan will undoubtedly believe Beijing has good faith should China remove its missiles targeting the nation.
On a more serious note, we recently had DPP leader and national President Chen Shuibian make an important China policy suggestion without consulting anyone in his cabinet, Minsitry of Foreign Affairs, or the US. Now we have the Great White Hope of the KMT doing exactly the same thing -- not only announcing China policy without consulting anyone, but also making China out to be the bad guy. Think those on the KMT side who attack Chen for being autocratic will say that about the mayor of Taipei? I think we'll see snow at Taipei train station before that happens. Both of the nation's major leaders have now given us displays of unthinking, self-centered, factional leadership. Can we have some national leadership, please?
Another fascinating thing about this affair is it reveals just how difficult it is for KMT leaders to say out in public that China can do anything bad. Ma's statement was a step in the right direction both politically and ethically, after all, a strong move that made him look tough, gave him the moral high ground, and positioned him closer to the center of the local electorate. One could even envision a joint statement by the KMT and the DPP on just this issue. With potential for national unity on a China policy issue looming, what happened? After frantic overnight consultations, the KMT leadership agreed that it was OK for China to point missiles at Taiwan. It is screamingly obvious which nation the Chinese Nationalist Party loves: they'd rather have missiles pointed at them than find common ground with the DPP.
[Taiwan] [China] [Taiwan Independence] [Ma Ying-jeou] [missiles]