Taiwan's future should be decided by its people: Ma
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou remains committed to maintaining Taiwan's status quo and the cross-strait policy of letting its people decide the country's future, his spokesman said yesterday.
June 18, 2009, 9:23 am TWN
Ma's advocacy that Taiwan's future be determined by its people remains his only option in terms of cross-strait relations, presidential office spokesman Tony Wang said.
The president, like the majority of the nation, supports the idea of "no unification, no independence, no military conflict" in order to maintain Taiwan's status quo, the spokesman said.
Wang was responding to a report in the pro-independence Liberty Times that claimed Ma was spelling out his ultimate goal of having Taiwan unified with China in his latest clarification of "no unification."
But his spokesman argued that the Liberty Times "intentionally misinterpreted" Ma's words.
In a recent interview with Commonwealth Magazine, Ma cited public opinion polls as showing 80 percent of the country's people agree with his "no unification, no independence and no military conflict" line.
But Ma noted that "no unification" does not rule out the option of unification.
He explained that the "no unification" commitment means that his administration will not pursue the line of unification in the next seven years - assuming that he will be reelected in 2012 to another four-year term.
As no answers to the unification issue would be possible during the next seven years, discussions on it would be meaningless, Ma said in the interview.
The president noted that different political parties in Taiwan embrace different agendas on the nation's future, but the ruling Kuomintang will not see de jure independence as an option.
He explained that as Taiwan is already an independent nation, there is no need for it to struggle for de jure independence.
But the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party claimed that Ma made the latest clarification on "no unification" under pressure from Beijing.
DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang said Ma is now trying to introduce a unification framework.
In the past Ma only stressed that he would not discuss unification during his presidential tenure, Cheng pointed out.
Cheng said it is self-contradictory for Ma to "not talk about unification but accept a one-China framework."
DPP legislative leader Trong Chai urged Ma to respect the majority opinion of the nation, where more and more people see themselves as "Taiwanese."
DPP Legislator Yeh Yi-chin said the core value of democracy is self-determination.
Whether Taiwan should go independent or seek unification with China must be determined by its 23 million people, and the majority's decision must be respected, Yeh said.
During the interview by CommonWealth, Ma was also asked about his decision to run for the KMT chairmanship.
Ma said that his plan to double as the KMT chief is not aimed at expanding his presidential power, but rather at running the nation more effectively.
Ma said he hopes that his chairmanship bid will be supported by party members in order to forge closer cooperation between the ruling party and the administration.
"If I assume the party chairmanship, the KMT will serve as a platform for communication between the administration and the party, while the Cabinet will remain the decision-making and executive body," he said.