President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) referred to Taiwan as a “province” yesterday while describing the sister-state relationship between Taiwan and Texas, rekindling the controversial issue of his perception of Taiwan’s status.Ma's constant downgrading of Taiwan is an issue that grates even with his supporters, especially among the young, never mind Greens and independent voters. This habit of his to belittle Taiwan, even when completely unnecessary (there was no reason to refer to Taiwan as a "province" in this context), also reveals his ideological commitments. Local elections loom, and Global Views has satisfaction with the President at 28%, yet the President and Chairman of the KMT continues to speak as if it is 1963. This determined reference to the zombie claims of yesteryear demonstrates that Ma is not a "pragmatist" but an ideologue steeped in ROC mythology and ideology, who deploys its discourses with understanding and with malice aforethought.
Ma told Texas Governor Rick Perry during a meeting at the Presidential Office that the country’s relationship with Texas was a close one.
“In 1988, Texas and Taiwan Province became sister states,” Ma said. “Over the past two years, we have engaged in many exchanges in technology, culture, education and agriculture.”
Ma thanked the Texas legislature for passing a resolution last year reaffirming the “sister state and sister province” relationship.
But I am sure that analysts in the US will continue to be puzzled by Ma's total lack of popularity.
UPDATE: But see comment below that undermines my position.
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