China ties provide lines of defense: Ma
CNATAIPEI -- President Ma Ying-jeou identified Wednesday what he described as “three lines of defense” for Taiwan, the first of which is institutionalized relations with mainland China.
June 2, 2011, 11:22 pm TWN
The other two are Taiwan's soft power and international support for the country, according to Ma.
Speaking during a promotion ceremony for Ministry of Defense cadres, Ma said that since his inauguration in 2008, he has been working to improve cross-Taiwan Strait relations, and has reached 15 agreements and one consensus with China over the past three years.
Ma said his efforts are aimed at institutionalizing relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, which will help stop either party from taking unilateral action to change the status quo or using non-peaceful means to resolve cross-strait disputes.
“They will hesitate to make a move because of the high stakes involved. This is exactly what Sun Tzu discusses in his classic 'The Art of War' about 'the highest form of generalship is to balk the enemy's plan,'” Ma said.
He said Taiwan needs also to combine its economic power with diplomacy to show the world the country's national strength and soft power.
Over the past three years, he noted, Taiwan has participated in many international humanitarian aid projects in countries struck by natural catastrophes. These include the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, for which Taiwan has donated nearly NT$6 billion, he added.
Finally, the president said, Taiwan should seek to obtain as much international support as possible so as to beef up its security.
Although Taiwan maintains diplomatic relations with only 23 countries, Taiwanese citizens can now visit 114 countries or areas visa-free or with landing visas, which is an unprecedented achievement, Ma said.
He emphasized the importance of the armed forces maintaining a crucial deterrent to China's military threat so as to uphold cross-strait peace.
He also discussed related issues while receiving a group of foreign experts who were in Taiwan to attend the 2011 International Law Association Asia-Pacific Regional Conference.
He pointed out that most problems Taiwan has encountered internationally stem from cross-strait confrontation. Taiwan's efforts to ease cross-strait tensions have helped expand the country's participation in international organizations.
In a further effort to resolve the cross-strait deadlock, Ma added, he has proposed that the two sides of the strait deal with each other based on the principles of “mutual non-recognition of each other's sovereignty and mutual non-denial of each other's jurisdiction.”