Monday, February 13, 2006

Ma Ying-jeou Asks that China Stop Pointing Missiles at Taiwan

Mayor Ma, currently on a visit to Londinium in far Britannia, made a speech on Saturday in which he asked that China remove its missiles pointed at Taiwan as a prerequisite for negotiations:

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.

At Cambridge, Ma said unification will become more likely if the two societies narrow their political, economic and social gaps.

"The opportunity is there ... but whether it can be achieved is up to the people in Taiwan to decide," he added.

Looks like Ma is positioning himself for the Presidency by adopting a highly popular position in Taiwan. Despite its popularity, a PFP legislator criticized it.

People First Party Legislator Lin Hui-kuan (林惠官) yesterday said Ma should be more careful in expressing his political views overseas.

Lin, secretary of the PFP legislative caucus, said Ma should not make comments in an offhand manner on sensitive political issues which might give rise to misunderstandings or controversy.

Lin made the remarks after Ma said Friday during his visit in London that he wouldn't rule out the possibility of allowing mainland Chinese to join the KMT someday and on Saturday also in London that he fully agrees with the view that Taiwan should not engage in talks with China before Beijing withdraws its missiles targeting Taiwan.

I think it is great that Ma would allow mainland Chinese to join the KMT. Perhaps he ought to do some passport checking in his own party, as Ma himself was born in Hong Kong, the previous KMT chairman, Lien Chan, was also born in China, and former KMT stalwart James Soong, now PFP head, was born in China as well. Mainland Chinese already belong to the KMT. Heck, they run the show. Perhaps the good mayor might think of a way to redefine his remarks to say what he actually means.

9 comments:

Jason said...

I agree. This kind of talk makes political sense, given the recent polling numbers showing the majority of Taiwanese still consider China a threat. How far will Ma go in his bid to pander to this rabid splittist majority before Beijing slaps him with a ban on travel to the Motherland?

Michael Turton said...

I'm interested too to see how long a leash Beijing has on him. He's their one real hope of quick and easy annexation, so I suspect they'll let him say what he wants.

Michael

Anonymous said...

i highly recommednd the new book on *mao: the untold story* to shatter any illusions about negotiated peaces held by ma and his ilk. the big BA still lords over tianamen and china-- and he was nothing if not ruthless in pursuit of gain and power. china will never, unless forced, remove missiles. read the book to get inoculated from any dizzying beliefs about china, please.

nick

David said...

It's interesting isn't it? Some of the statements that Ma has been making would be impossible for CSB to make without getting accused of trying to block talks with China (Ma has also said that PRC would have to admit to and apologise for Tiananmen before any talks about unification).

I think Ma's doing a good job of articulating a moderate and sensible position on China. If he gets the Taiwanese public to believe what he's saying (which he will), it is definitely game over for 2008 - he'll have nullified the one potential trump card for the DPP.

I'm actually quite looking forward to seeing how Ma handles things as president. I think Ma is driven by media-image, and so won't do anything that will make him unpopular (like selling out completely). Given that, I think he'll find he hasn't got much room to maneuver. And what the PRC reaction is when they realise that this is as good as it gets for them could also be interesting ...

Michael Turton said...

Well, the TT today apparently has Ma "clarifying" his remarks. I have to read the report, but it looks like it didn't take long. LOL.

I did think that his position, as it was articulated here, was a big plus for the campaign. Only Nixon can go to China, and only Ma can get them to stop pointing missiles at us.

Michael

David said...

Hmm ... Okay. Dismantling the missiles must be an item for discussion. Not quite as strong :)

Incidentally, what is it with Chinese-speaking politicians and their obsession with numbers? Ma's got his "2P & 3C" (can you say 'contrived'?), there's '4 noes, 1 without', '3 represents', the list goes on ...

My son is getting interested in similar things: "1, 2 Buckle my shoe", "1 man went to mow". Has he got the same mental age as these politicians?

Anonymous said...

Wasn't you the guy who commented on Peking Duck's forum that white boys such as your good self are supeior to Taiwanese guys? Eh? Have you told your male Taiwanese friends (if you have any) 'bout this? Hmmm? You limped dick piece of shit.

Michael Turton said...

Wasn't me. I think you're all confused. Not surprising, really.

Michael

mark said...

I went to a couple of the major Ma events here in London yesterday at RUSI and the LSE and to a private dinner last night, and in spite of myself, I was not unimpressed. Most of what he said was centrist and a little slippery, but broadly pragmatic in tone, and he was pretty clear that while he could imagine starting negotiations for unification, it wasn't going to happen any time soon that he could see. He emphasized democracy very heavily and that China had to be democratic before anything could happen.

Perhaps the most striking thing was that at the public lecture at the LSE almost all the audience were young mainlanders, and they loved him, treating him like a rock star. If Ma was running for president of the PRC, he'd be a shoo-in.