A contradiction between Ma's usual position that Taiwan has already been annexed to China, and what Richburg reported emerged in internet discussions. Ma clearly did not say that Taiwan is a sovereign state as Richburg appeared to report in his article.
Taiwan "is a sovereign state," Ma said in an interview at the presidential palace here.This looks like sloppy editing. Surely Ma did not contravert his lifelong claim that there is no such thing as sovereign Taiwan.
Richburg did manage to gently point out that Ma was full of it, which is more than many interviewers have done, for whatever reason....good on him:
Just to continue that, since the relations are good, and everybody on both sides agrees to that, why, for example, are you still developing your own missile system? And why are you still requesting the new F-16C/Ds from the United States? Shouldn't this be a time to be decreasing missile weapons?Since relations are good, why are you still trying to kill each other? Ma downplayed the effect of the recent spy case on US-Taiwan relations, though his own officials have said the effect was serious.
All in all, par for the course, Ma, as always, on script -- one of his biggest assets as the face of the KMT is his ability to stay on message.
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