Archive for the ‘Ma’ Category

Without Losing Face, China’s Diplomat Avoids Greeting Taiwan’s President

November 6, 2008

The meeting between Chen Yunlin and President Ma Ying-jeou, the highlight of a four-day visit to the island by Mr Chen, had been overshadowed by controversy over how the Chinese envoy would address his host.

In the event, he successfully ducked the issue – by offering no verbal greeting at all.

Richard Spencer in Beijing
Telegraph (UK)

He could not use Mr Ma’s title, since China does not recognise the Taiwan government’s autonomy.

But he could not address him simply as Mr Ma without paying disrespect to his host – and playing into the hands of Mr Ma’s anti-China opposition, who were already accusing him of selling out to Beijing by inviting him.

Taiwan democratically elected President Ma Ying-jeou (right) made history when he became fisrt leader of the island to meet a senior Chinese leader science the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.

Taiwan democratically elected President Ma Ying-jeou (right) made history when he became fisrt leader of the island to meet a senior Chinese leader science the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. Photo: AFP / Getty Images

So during their five-minute public meeting, he uttered just one line, as he handed over a gift of a painting: “I offer this to you. This is by a master artist.”

Mr Chen’s visit is the fruit of a warming of ties between the two former enemies, who are still technically at war. Taiwan is ruled by the same political party that fought the Communist Party for control of China in the 1930s and 40s, and the People’s Republic still claims sovereignty over it.

Mr Ma has improved relations since his election in March by promising not to move towards a declaration of formal independence.

Mr Chen signed a number of trade deals on his visit, but the two sides did not attempt to make progress on all-important security issues, such as the 1,000 missiles the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has targeted at the island.

“We cannot deny that differences and challenges still exist, such as Taiwan’s security and Taiwan’s position in the international community.” Mr Ma said at the meeting.

Mr Ma’s opponents from the Democratic Progressive Party, whom he defeated in the election, staged noisy protests against Mr Chen’s visit and said the president was “selling out” the island.

“Ma is sucking up to China by degrading Taiwan’s sovereignty and this humiliates our country,” said Ko Kai-liang, 40, a chemical company worker.

Nevertheless the visit will be regarded in both Beijing and Taipei as a success – especially the subtlety of Mr Chen’s diplomacy.

For he did not quite fail to address Mr Ma: the picture was of a horse, the meaning of the Taiwanese president’s surname.

Taiwan leader Ma vows no war with China in his term

October 21, 2008

President Ma Ying-jeou vowed on Tuesday that no war would break out with long-time political rival China, which considers the self-ruled island as part of its territory, during his term in office.

China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949 and has vowed to bring the island back under its rule, by force if necessary.

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou gestures as he arrives to meet ... 
Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou gestures as he arrives to meet Paraguayan president-elect Fernando Lugo at the presidential residence Mburubicha Roga in Asuncion August 14, 2008.(Enrique Marcarian/Reuters)

Ma’s government has held historic talks with Beijing and set up new trade and transit links since he took office in May, following decades of hostility.

He said he was confident war would be averted, his office quoted him as saying after a speech to military leaders.

“The president resolutely said that in the coming four years there would be no war between the two sides,” Ma’s office said in a statement after his speech to top military personnel.

“He expressed this prospect during his campaign, and now he has more confidence,” the statement said. Ma’s term ends in 2012.

Taiwan’s main opposition political party called Ma’s comments a sign of weakness on the island’s sovereignty.

China’s top negotiator, Chen Yunlin, is expected to visit Taiwan later this year for talks on daily direct flights and food safety.

China’s food safety record has been tarnished again by a recent tainted milk scandal in which four babies died, thousands were made ill, and Chinese dairy products were pulled off shelves around the world.

(Reporting for Reuters by Ralph Jennings; Editing by Nick Macfie)

US sees ‘excellent’ ties with Taiwan under new leader

March 28, 2008

TAIPEI (AFP) – The head of the US representative office in Taiwan said Friday he was confident of “excellent” relations with its incoming president but gave no word on whether he would be granted a Washington visit.
Taiwan president-elect Ma Ying-jeou waves to supporters during ... 
Taiwan president-elect Ma Ying-jeou waves to supporters during a rally in Taipei on March 25, 2008. The head of the US representative office in Taiwan said Friday he was confident of “excellent” relations with its incoming president but gave no word on whether he would be granted a Washington visit.
(AFP/File/Sam Yeh)

“We are very confident to have an excellent relation (with Taiwan) in the next four years,” said Raymond F. Burghardt, the Washington-based chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).

The AIT is a non-profit, quasi official organisation that has handled ties in the absence of formal relations since Washington switched formal diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.

Burghardt said that Ma’s focus “looks like it will be somewhat different” than under outgoing President Chen Shui-bian, who irked Washington and Beijing with his pro-independence stance.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080328/pl_afp/taiwanuspoliticsma_080328133601

Tibet unrest colors Taiwan elections

March 22, 2008
By PETER ENAV, Associated Press Writer 

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Voters were deciding Saturday whether to stick with a party that has struggled to improve ties with rival China or switch to one promising peace with the island’s giant neighbor.

Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party presidential candidate ...
Taiwan’s opposition Nationalist Party presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou shakes hands with supporters as he parades through neighborhoods of Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, March 21, 2008. Taiwan’s presidential candidates Ma and ruling party Democratic Progressive Party’s Frank Hsieh are canvassing the island one day before Taiwan will hold its fourth directly-elected presidential poll on Saturday, March 22, 2008.(AP Photo/Wally Santana)

Just two weeks ago, opposition candidate Ma Ying-jeou seemed ready to cruise to victory, promising to improve relations with China and even work toward a common market with the Communist country.

But ruling party candidate Frank Hsieh appears to have been closing the gap. His party used the last day of campaigning to fan outrage over China’s crackdown in Tibet.

Hsieh warns that China’s crackdown in Tibet could be replicated in Taiwan, which split from the mainland amid civil war in 1949. Beijing still considers the island to be part of its territory and has threatened to attack if Taiwan rejects unification and seeks a permanent break.

“If Ma is elected, Taiwan’s future will be in danger,” Hsieh told a cheering crowd at a rally Friday in the southern city of Chiayi. “It will be the same for China to attack Tibet or Taiwan because it will be China’s domestic issue.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080322/ap_on_re_
as/taiwan_presidential_election;_ylt=AhO
j5eFXqW2dKrJE.6BnapWs0NUE

Taiwan criticises China over Tibet

March 15, 2008

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan officials and the ruling party’s presidential candidate condemned China’s move against rioters in Tibet, linking it to their own island that China claims as its own and has threatened with force.

“As we ook at Tibet, we must think about our own fate,” said Frank Hsieh, presidential candidate from Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party, which favours formal independence from China.

A Tibetan is arrested by police during anti-China protests in ...
 A  Tibetan is arrested by police during anti-China protests in front of the United Nations office in Kathmandu March 15, 2008. Nepal has effectively closed Mount Everest to climbers until after May 10 to allow the Olympic flame to be carried to the top without being troubled by Tibetan protesters, a senior minister said on Friday.
(Shruti Shrestha/Reuters)

China has claimed sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan since 1949, when Mao Zedong’s Communists won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists (KMT) fled to the island. Beijing has vowed to bring Taiwan under its rule, by force if necessary.

“Tibet is a test case for China’s application of the anti-secession law,” Hsieh added, referring to Beijing’s 2005 edict authorising use of force in extreme cases against Taiwan.

Hsieh trails his opponent Ma Ying-jeou from the main opposition KMT opinion polls ahead of the March 22 election. The KMT once ruled all of China and is seen as more mainland-friendly.

Ma also condemned the violence on Saturday, but does not believe it relates to Taiwan, his spokesman Lo Chih-chiang said.

Read the rest:
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20080315/tpl-uk-china-tibet-taiwan-43a8d4f.html

Taiwan’s Ma Rules Out Hu Meeting, Vows Expanded Ties If Elected

March 14, 2008

By James Peng and Stephen Engle

March 14 (Bloomberg) — Ma Ying-jeou, Taiwan’s leading presidential candidate, ruled out directly negotiating with China and meeting with its leader in the next four years while promising to quickly expand travel and investment ties to the mainland if he’s elected.

Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party presidential candidate ...
Taiwan’s opposition Nationalist Party presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou is greeted by excited supporters during a campaign rally in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, March 14, 2008. Taiwan will hold its fourth directly-elected presidential poll on March 22, 2008.
(AP Photo/Wally Santana)

“I don’t see that as possible,” Ma said of a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Ma’s first term. “Because of the sensitivity of cross-strait relations, I think both sides want to avoid direct contact between officials.”

Read the rest:
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=aZhVY71n0mp0

Taiwan’s Independence Movement Likely to Wane

March 12, 2008

By Edward Wong
The New York Times
March 12, 2008
.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — No matter who wins Taiwan’s fiercely contested presidential election on March 22, the fervent independence movement that has so agitated relations with mainland China in recent years seems destined to suffer a significant setback.

Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential ...
Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (C) speaks during a night rally in Hualien March 11, 2008. Taiwan’s presidential election will be held on March 22.
REUTERS/Nicky Loh (TAIWAN)

Both candidates, Ma Ying-jeou and Frank Hsieh, want closer ties with Beijing, differing only in how quickly and to what degree they would strengthen relations. By calling for closer economic cooperation with China and rejecting any notions of separatism, they are repudiating the tough nationalist policies of the departing president, Chen Shui-bian, whose confrontational stance has angered officials in Beijing and Washington and has stirred anxiety among many Taiwanese.

“Both sides will try to seek common ground and seek engagement across the straits,” said Philip Yang, a political scientist at National Taiwan University who has advised the Ma campaign. “If Ma is elected, the pace will be faster, and with bigger expectations.”

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/12/world/asia/
12taiwan.html

Taiwan: Pro-China Candidate Takes the Lead

March 10, 2008

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou of the China-friendly Nationalist Party (KMT) holds a big lead over rival Frank Hsieh, who favours a harder line toward China.

Taiwan's opposition Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate ...
Taiwan’s opposition Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou gestures during an election campaign in Kaohsiung March 8, 2008. Taiwan’s presidential election will be held on March 22.(Pichi Chuang/Reuters)

Taiwan, recognized by just 23 countries and viewed by China as a breakaway province that must be brought back to the fold, votes for a new president on March 22.

Ma, a former Taipei mayor who has pledged to relax Taiwan-China investment rules to jumpstart the local economy if elected, has 49 to 54 percent of voter support, according to three media polls, one each in the Chinese-language China Times and United Daily and one by local TV news station TVBS.

Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential ...
 Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh gestures while talking with social activists and scholars during a symposium at his campaign headquarters in Taipei March 10, 2008. Taiwan’s presidential election will be held on March 22. The three characters read, “Hsieh Chang-ting,” which is Hsieh’s name in Chinese.REUTERS/Pichi Chuang (TAIWAN)

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080310/wl_nm/taiwan_election_dc_1