President Ma Ying-jeou renewed Tuesday his call for China "to remove or actually dismantle" its missiles targeting Taiwan as a prerequisite for talks on a cross-Taiwan Strait peace accord.It's actually a good example of Ma/KMT cynicism: talks are underway to annex the island through financial and economic integration, as well as the arrival of Chinese workers (see Taiwan News today, and more in Taipei Times tomorrow). So a "peace agreement" is basically superfluous to the reality of creeping annexation; it is a mere diversion. As always, one must watch what elites here are doing, not what they say. This is merely words aimed at placating foreign audiences. If there are real negotiations on missiles, they don't have anything to do with Ma's words here.
Ma also reaffirmed his policy of maintaining the status quo across the strait, saying the conditions are not yet ripe for unification.
He made the remarks in response to questions on cross-strait relations, during a video conference linking Taipei with Harvard University faculty and students.
According to Ma, Taiwan is well aware of China's ambition to annex Taiwan, but it has to face up to the reality, try to temper cross-strait tensions and prevent China from using force against Taiwan.
"We also demand that the mainland should remove or actually dismantle all the missiles that are targeted against Taiwan.
Otherwise we won't be interested in making further step to negotiate a peace agreement with them," the president said.
Kudos to the CNA for putting "annex" into their article, which was picked up by the pro-annexation China Post for this article. Haha.
Reuters also reports, and they have a good precis of The Formula describing the cross-strait situation.
Taiwan officials say China has aimed from 1,000 to 1,500 short- and mid-range missiles at the self-ruled island, which Beijing has claimed as its own since the Chinese Civil war of the 1940s.Nicely nuanced "...since the Chinese Civil War of the 1940s." Apparently it is possible to describe the situation pithily without the historically inaccurate "split in 1949" formulation so beloved of AP and AFP. Reuters says it is possible that trade might be harmed by Ma's call for missiles to be removed, although trade rose steadily under the DPP despite their much more pro-Taiwan cross-strait policy.
Ma's remarks on online complete at Isria. Search for them and then log-in for free seven day access.
This event also sheds light on Beijing's strategy to isolate Chen Shui-bian and paint him as a radical. Anybody recall in May of 2007 when Beijing whined and peed on the floor because a sitting Taiwan President, Chen Shui-bian, appeared at the National Press Club in teleconference? And the kerfluffle that accompanied his appearance? Now President Ma does the exact same thing at Harvard, and what comes out of Beijing but .... silence. The idea that Chen is some radical is a idea fostered by Beijing, to serve its interests. Nothing else.
- Jon Adams with great piece in Global Post on skepticism toward ECFA
- Bruce Jacobs interview
- Orville Schell calls on China to exhibit greater reciprocity
- Taiwan News with great piece on worsening structural economic effects from ECFA
- Services to be slaughtered once ECFA opens Taiwan to Chinese white collar workers.
- Chaon finds this awesome sea creature. Which, as Red A points out in the comments, is actually eaten in Taiwan. I want one for a pet.
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