According to Hong Kong media, Taiwan’s president reiterated his policy of “one China, two areas” in his inaugural speech.
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou was inaugurated for his second term on May 20. According to SCMP, Ma “struck a cautious note yesterday in delivering his cross-strait policy that promises little change” in response to Beijing’s hope that he would abide by his “one China” principle (one country, two areas to be precise) in return for Beijing’s preferential treatment to the Ma administration in boosting Taiwan’s lacklustre economy.
That concept of “one country, two areas” was written into Taiwan’s constitution 20 years ago. In his inaugural speech, Ma was prudent to stress that “one country” means “the Republic of China” instead the PRC. This differs from KMT Honorary Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung’s interpretation. When Wu met Hu Jintao, he told Hu that Taiwan and the Chinese mainland were two areas in one country, which implies neither the Republic of China nor the People’s Republic of China is the “one country”.
Besides, Ma promised that he would maintain the status quo and stuck to the policy of “no unification, no independence and no use of force”. He carefully avoided mentioning such sensitive terms as “peace agreement” and “political negotiation”.
In spite of that, there were strong pro-independence protests all over Taiwan during the inauguration ceremony, accusing Ma of handing over Taiwan to Beijing. Ma’s failure to improve Taiwan’s economy has caused his popularity to fall to a new low and added fuel to the protests.
Singtao Daily said Ma Ying-jeou and Vice President Wu Den-yih took their inaugural oaths at the Presidential Building. After taking the oath, Ma received the Seal of the Republic of China and the Seal of Honour from Wang Jin-ping, President of the Legislative Yuan.
In addition to the above mentioned prudent adherence to his cross-strait policies, Ma persisted in his speech recognition of the 1992 consensus that each side across the strait acknowledges the existence of “one China” but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. Ma advocates peaceful development of both sides. He says that both sides shall face squarely the reality, seek common ground while reserving differences and establish the consensus of “mutual non-acknowledgement of sovereignty and mutual acknowledgement of administration power.” Only by so doing can the two sides rest at ease while they move forward. He advocates, in addition, maintaining the “iron triangle” to ensure Taiwan’s security. Besides achieving reconciliation between the two sides and expanding the room for Taiwan’s existence in the world, Taiwan has to deter foreign threat by military strength.
Regarding Taiwan’s development in the future, Ma attaches importance to economy, employment, low carbon emission, culture and talents and regards them as the “five pillars of development” for improving Taiwan’s global competitive edge in an all-round manner. He plans to bring about a thorough change to Taiwan in four years to make Taiwan a land of happiness.
A recent opinion poll shows that Ma’s popularity has fallen to a new low since he became president in 2008. This put great pressure on him when he was inaugurated on May 20. Ma himself admits that during his administration, there is inadequate employment opportunities, excessive rich-poor gap and insufficient increase in average wage and salary.
Meanwhile, the opposition camp launched protests throughout Taiwan to oppose Ma’s inauguration in various way.
In Taipei, a thousand people gathered to throw eggs at a poster of Ma while shouting “Ma, bustard” to give vent to their indignation. The Democratic Progressive Party organised an activity of people dominos to bring down Ma. The protesters each acted as a domino to form a huge heart-shaped line. The dominos were pushed down during the inauguration ceremony to express their wish for the downfall of the Ma administration.
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Categories: Politics & Law