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Home Editorials of Interest Taipei Times Ma displays too little confidence in Taiwan

Ma displays too little confidence in Taiwan

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US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar’s official visit to Taiwan last week was a visible manifestation of deepening ties between the two countries. As one might expect, the visit enraged Beijing: China’s state-run media blasted the US for its “desperate playing of the ‘Taiwan card.’”

The bad news for Beijing is that, given the state of international affairs, Taiwan-US relations can only get better.

China is governed by a totalitarian regime that is hell-bent on annexing Taiwan, while the US is a friendly nation that shares Taiwan’s values of democracy and liberty. Even if the collective IQ of the Taiwanese public were to plummet by 50 points overnight, it is unlikely that Taiwan would opt to dance with the devil.

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) appears not to have gotten the memo. During his regular “cross-strait relations and Taiwanese security” speech to the Rotary Club of Taipei East on Monday last week, Ma set a cat among the pigeons by ominously warning that if China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) were to invade Taiwan, the PLA would win a decisive victory in the opening battle.

Ma added that there would be no time for Taiwan to wait for the US military to ride to its rescue, and that in any case, the US military would not be sent.

By saying that the opening battle would also be the final battle, does Ma mean to say that Taiwan’s military is so incapable of resistance that it would fold like a cheap suit during the opening salvo?

Given Ma’s assessment of the situation, that the US would not send a task force to assist Taiwan, he is essentially saying that the nation is completely finished, doomed: Taiwan is toast.

How can it be that a former president thinks so little of his compatriots and is prepared to trash talk his country in this way?

As if slave-like fawning to his Beijing masters while in the presidency was not enough, Ma has continued to brown-nose the communists in his retirement. How can self-respecting Taiwanese not bridle at his behavior? It is woeful that Taiwanese are encumbered with such a contemptible ex-president.

Only a few days before the speech, when paying his respects to former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) on Facebook, Ma wrote that the resolution issued by the National Unification Council under Lee’s leadership 28 years ago, on Aug. 1, 1992, laid the foundation for the “one China, different interpretations” that is part of the “1992 consensus.”

However, at the time, Lee and then-Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) kept repeating that there was no “consensus.” Even former MAC chairman Su Chi (蘇起), who created the deceit during his time as head of the council, in 2006 admitted that he had made it up.

To first pay tribute to Lee and then humiliate him by claiming that he did things that he explicitly denied is nothing short of despicable.

Several members of Ma’s family have US citizenship, so why is he so eager to force Taiwanese to become Chinese? If Ma is so eager to become Chinese, why not just move to China?

Chen Ching-kuen is an assistant professor.

Translated by Edward Jones

Source: Taipei Times - Editorials 2020/08/19

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