China not a ‘foreign country,’ Ma
Staff writer, with CNA
President Ma Ying-jeou speaks
during the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) 19th Review Committee meeting in
Taipei yesterday, reiterating that cross-strait relations are not state-to-state
and China is not a foreign country.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday
reiterated that cross-strait relations are not state-to-state, and that China
cannot be considered by Taiwan as a foreign country.
If cross-strait ties were state-to-state, there would be no need for the
Mainland Affairs Council, and relations would be handled by the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs’ Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Ma said at a
meeting of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), of which he is chairman.
However, issues relating to China are also not purely domestic, Ma said, because
exports to China are charged import duties and permits are needed for Taiwanese
seeking entry into China and Chinese coming to Taiwan.
These conditions demonstrate that Taiwan and China are in a special
relationship, Ma said, reiterating a position that drew criticism when he
mentioned in his Double Ten National Day speech last month.
In that address, the president said “cross-strait relations are not
international relations,” which opposition politicians said signaled the
possibility of unification with China and represented a concession to Beijing.
Ma said yesterday that his views were supported by the Republic of China
Constitution, which he said does not allow for “two Chinas,” “one China and one
Taiwan,” or an independent Taiwan.
He also cited the Constitution in defending his definition of the cross-strait
relationship as one in which Taiwan and China do not deny each other’s authority
to govern, but do not recognize each other’s sovereignty.
That definition of cross-strait ties “did not begin when we took office, but was
settled when the Constitution was amended more than 20 years ago” and was not
changed by his two predecessors, former presidents Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and Chen
Shui-bian (陳水扁), Ma said.