Archive for March 4th, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

MAC: “Completely Pro-Taiwan”

Taiwan’s president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) won’t discuss “political matters” with China during his first term in office, Taiwan’s news agency CNA (中央社) quotes a high-ranking mainland affairs council (大陸委員會, MAC) official. The president’s stance on the matter wouldn’t change, even if cross-strait talks became more difficult. The talks and exchange were only at their early stage and needed a stable process before further steps could be considered. The mainland affairs council’s vice chairman Chien-min Chao (趙建民) would arrive in Japan [update: on March 5] and explain the council’s policies there. More systematic business relations with China would lead to an improved environment for Taiwan – “our policies are completely pro-Taiwan, how could they be pro-China?” (我們的政策完全是親台,怎麼會是親中?), CNA quotes the official.

The government’s caution regarding political topics in cross-strait relations isn’t new, hence “unchanged” now. In June 1999, then MAC chairman Su Chi (蘇起) said that “it was too early to link political talks with unification talks at a time when the two sides of the Taiwan Straits lack mutual trust and consensus”. Taiwan’s president at the time was Lee Teng-hui (李登輝).

Su Chi has played a role in Taiwanese politics since the early 1990s. His latest post was Taiwan’s National Security Council secretary general, a job he resigned last month.

On February 28, president Ma said that he took the KMT’s latest defeats in by-elections as a warning. The re-iteration of the “no-politics” policy is apparently meant to address voters’ concerns. That said, the implicit announcement of possible political cross-strait talks during his second term – and keeping to the ECFA agenda – may not be helpful for the KMT’s future lot at the ballot boxes.

The MAC official quoted by CNA apparently spoke on the condition of anonymity.

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