Ma: President Tsai's Foreign Policy is Pushing Taiwan to Brink of War
United Daily News, August 23, 2020
Former President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday that after the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) took power in 2016, relations across the Taiwan Strait have quickly frozen. President Tsai Ing-wen, unwilling to accept the “1992 Consensus,” adopted a policy of allying with the United States to confront China, and cross-strait circumstances have turned from a stalemate to a crisis. Ma stated that he is opposed to the Chinese mainland’s refusal to renounce the use of force and the conducting of military exercises against Taiwan, but he cannot accept President Tsai’s choice of an erroneous national policy that is recklessly pushing Taiwan to the brink of war.
The Ma Ying-jeou Foundation organized a conference on the insecurity of Taiwan yesterday. Former President Ma said in the opening remarks that it is the inescapable duty of a country’s leader to avoid war and to maintain peace, so why would president Tsai rather bear the risk of war but refuse to accept the “1992 Consensus” that would promote peace and avoid the war? Why is it necessary for Taiwan to suffer the disaster of a first strike? The use of military force is disastrous and when war breaks out, the lives of people will be lost, so how can a national leader be so careless?
Ma said that to turn Taiwan’s crisis into safety, it is necessary to adjust the external policy by fine tuning it to the policy of allying with the United States, making peace with the Chinese mainland, and being friendly with Japan. Taiwan must consider both the cross-strait relations and the international relations by not taking sides, so that Taiwan can pursue good auspices and avoid danger, thus conforming to Taiwan’s best interest.
Facing the collective criticisms from the DPP administration, Ma said that the government had never used so much effort to rebut him before, this meant that he had hit the point, so those issues that were concealed and not discovered might be uncovered. Ma added that the DPP should not be so narrow-minded, because it was a good thing that some people had offered suggestions, and yesterday’s conference was not partisan but was discussion on facts.
Ma said that when President Tsai was running for re-election, her campaign theme was to resist China and protect Taiwan. But Crisis Watch, published by the International Crisis Group in June, designated Taiwan Strait, as well as the Korean Peninsula and the border between China and India, as one of the 15 regions that the political security situation had significantly deteriorated.
Ma stated that the Tsai administration, under the philosophy of resisting China to safeguard Taiwan, had vowed to reduce the economic reliance on mainland China and had spent a huge amount of resources on the “New Southbound Policy”. The result, however, has been that the degree of Taiwan’s export reliance on mainland increased, not decreased.
Ma said that President Tsai had said that when dealing with the Mainland, she always adhered to the Constitution of the Republic of China and the Act Governing Cross-Strait Relations to maintain the peaceful status quo in the Taiwan Strait. But in reality, she rejected the “1992 Consensus” that conformed to the ROC Constitution and the Act Governing Cross-Strait Relations and even maliciously distorted the “1992 Consensus” to mean “One Country, Two Systems.” In this case, how can peace be maintained across the strait?
Former Premier Jiang Yi-huah stated that Taiwan now faces two important national security issues. First, the DPP government is leading the dismantling of the national identity of the Republic of China. Second, mainland China’s threat of the use of force against Taiwan is increasing. For Taiwan to avoid these two crises, the best way is to guard the national identity and avoid walking towards the illusion of building an independent Taiwan. Especially amid the treacherous confrontation between the United States and China, Taiwan should not become a proxy of either side, or even become the battlefield.