Friday, March 24, 2006

Taiwan Communique on Ma Visit

Gerrit van der Wees, Editor, Taiwan Communique, passed this around Taiwan Focus:

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Hereby a brief summary of what we were able to see and hear of Mr. Ma's visit here in Washington.

Yesterday (March 22nd) he gave a public speech at the American Enterprise Institute, where he was grilled by our friends Dan Blumenthal and John Tkacik on his stance w.r.t. the arms package. Dan and John found him very evasive, and he repeated that today at Brookings (morning) and National Press Club (afternoon).

In telegraph staccato, his speech has the following elements: He himself was made in Taiwan, but delivered in HK. East Asia has two flashpoints: Taiwan Strait and Korea. The Strait has never been peaceful: from '49 through '79 military conflict and confrontation. After derecognition in 1981 marshall Ye's 9 points. In 1992 the "consensus" on One China, agree to disagree. But this move to conciliation was upset by LTH's State-to-state. After 2000 election, President Chen initially moved in the right direction ("five noes"), but after that he went from bad to worse: one-country on each side, 2003 defensive referendum, and in 2006 the NUC abolishment.

He then said that China and Taiwan should work towards "common vision" of Peace and Prosperity. If KMT comes to power, it will keep the five noes, affirm the status quo. He said the five noes are too passive, and that therefore he proposes the "five do's": 1) resume talks between two sides, 2) work towards a peace accord in which both sides agree neither move towards independence or unification for 50 years. 3) Have Military Confidence Building Measures, 4) try to achieve a modus vivendi on Taiwan's participation in international organizations, based on pragmatism (no details ....), 5) accelerate cultural and educational exchanges, recognize degrees from Chinese universities and accept Chinese students in Taiwan universities.

So much for his presentation. From the Q&A, I pick out two points:

1. This morning at Brookings, Kurt Campbell asked him about the arms package. Ma had a long answer, in which he basically accused the DPP for "doing nothing" between 2001 and 2004, and then "presenting a two-page paper to the LY nine days before the recess." He of course said nothing of the 46 times it was blocked in the LY procedure committee, but stated blandly that because of the tough position of the KMT's LY caucus, the price had now "dropped"from 18 bln. $ to 10 bln.$ .... He said that the KMT's Policy Statement was now ready, but that its passage had been complicated by the NUC abolishment. He said the KMT firmly supports a "reasonable"arms package, ased on four points: a) defense needs, b) Cross Strait situation, 3) finance/costs, 4) public opinion (he said public opinion is now 50/50 divided on the package). This vague answer clearly did not satisfy the Americans.

2) I did raise the issue of reconciliation in Taiwan itself, both this morning at Brookings as well as this afternoon at the NPC. My question was: Mr. Ma, in your presentation, you focus on reconciliation with China, but is reconciliation within Taiwan also a goal for you? It seems that for the KMT it is easier to cross the Taiwan Strait and fly off to Beijing than it is to cross the Katagelan Blvd in Taipei. How do you intend to achieve reconciliation in Taiwan if people like Kuan Chung still give speeches that are so hostile to the democratically-elected government in Taiwan (at a separate Brookings/CSIS seminar on Consolidating Taiwan's Democracy on Wednesday, Kuan Chung gave a confrontational speech in which he blamed the DPP for everything that's wrong in Taiwan -- the Americans present were really shaking their head in disbelief).

At the Brookings session this morning, Ma did not answer my question at all: he went into a explanation of WTO, APEC and trade things .... much to the amazement of the audience. This afternoon at the NPC, he said that reconciliation had been tried by the KMT: Lien Chan in October 2001 (and he had been "betrayed"on the nuclear plant ssue), and James Soong last year (10 points ?), so he (Ma) was very careful. I came back and said that the DPP had an equal number of examples where they felt they had been betrayed by the KMT, and insisted, asking him what he planned to do NOW to bring the people in Taiwan together. He remained very evasive.

OK, so much for now. Sorry to be rather lengthy, but we thought it would be good that you all have an accurate overview of the topics discussed. At least we pushed him hard on some of these issues, but there is a high level of arrogance on his part: they feel they have the "high ground" now, and are taking advantage of that. I am sure many of the Americans are poking holes in his tale, but there will also be quite a number of gullible souls who think this is "very positive."

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I'll have some more stuff from the Nelson Report up later today. Am cosmically busy with editing and translation work. Damn! I hate it when life interferes with blogging.

5 comments:

Sun Bin said...

the accusation to Ma is not fair.

1. vagueness in #4 (and most of the other points that needs negotiations) of his 5 go's. Ans: you do not want to reveal your cards before negotiation.

2. arms packages. those who followed the event know it very well.
1) Ma has alwasy been very clear on the issue, right price and right weapons. (the accusations apply to Soong though). Mr van der Wees must have not done his homework.
2) $5-10bn is creative accounting (Enron style), the total amount is still $18n
3) 1 time or 46 time, it is the same thing, no material change has been made. why should the voting result be different? this is like i want to buy a house for $1, and i submitted my bid for 46 times

3. reconcilation within the island. i would blame both sides, blue and green. rather than blaming ma alone.
i don't know if you can call shifting the policy to the center some sort of reconcilation. i think Ma and Su both did something better than their predecessors

Samuel said...

Jesus loves you greatly, so to do the rest of us. Peace.

Michael Turton said...

Ma has never been clear on anything, Sun, as those of us who follow the arms deal have noted before. He usually lies about it, in fact. You are welcome to reproduce a clear statement from Ma on the issue. It should be very amusing!

The island cannot be reconciled because the killers who worked for the KMT are still around, because the mainlander political identity was constructed to divide the island's society and co-opt opposition to KMT colonial rule. Reconciliation would mean, of course, that all sides work for the good of Taiwan. I'd like to see the Blues do that!

Peas to you to Samuel.

Michael

Anonymous said...

"The island cannot be reconciled because the killers who worked for the KMT are still around, because the mainlander political identity was constructed to divide the island's society and co-opt opposition to KMT colonial rule. "

sound reconciliating :)

A guy from Taiwan said...

Are you reading Liberty Times all the time? That's no less lie than O'Reilly Report on Fox News.

About the killer part. How many Taiwanese people did KMT killed in Taiwan? The number compiled by now is about 1000. Some of these people are actually KMT members in Taiwan have been finger-pointed by other Taiwanese KMT members as communists. The purge in 1950s killed a lot more mainlanders, especially in the army, for fear of communist infiltration.

Were Taiwanese innocent in 228 incident? Oh hell no. It all started with misunderstanding but became ethnic cleaning of mainlanders and ended with military supression, which every country, democratic or not, would do the same. It had been studied by many historians on publicized government files and interviews of people who were there. The rumor about tens of thousands of dead Taiwanese are plain lies and should be put into garbage bin forever. In reality, US bombing of Taiwan during WW2 killed more Taiwanese than the entire period of KMT rule.

Unlike Japanese colonial rule, KMT rule didn't discriminate people based on ethnicity. My grandfather was a teacher in Puli from Japanese rule to KMT rule. They knew that Japanese treated Taiwanese like turd and aligned with KMT on language policy. In other words, some Taiwanese are the enforcer of KMT culture policy for some reason, and that's probably the reason for half of MingNan population to keep supporting KMT. If you think KMT is just another colonial rule and mainland superior rulers, then you're dead wrong! Only aborigins can claim that, and most aborigins are supporting KMT because they know how "Taiwanese" allied with Japanese during the old days to keep them in their place. KMT did force a policy to convert aborigins into Han. What the big deal, Japanese did it and did it even more violently. At least KMT didn't use gas or infantry to massarcre tribes and gave equal opportunity in education (sometimes even affirmitive action) and government. My battalion CO when I served is an aborigin and I know a lot of aborigins who achieved high degree of education and success. All that happened during KMT rule.

Don't ever talk about this ethnicity BS anymore. The whole problem of Taiwanese politics is called Zi3 Lu4 Wei2 Ma3 (pointing a dear and called it a horse) and it is not an internal problem.