How, if at all, does the evolution of the relationship between the People’s Republic of
Ma Ying-jeou: Since the handover of Hong Kong to mainland
Though Hong Kong’s Basic Law declares that it shall be governed by its people and enjoy a high degree of autonomy, the reality is that in Beijing’s “one country, two systems” model, the Hong Kong “system” must bow to the will of the “one country.”
By contrast, the Republic of China (
In view of the impossibility of resolving the cross-strait sovereignty dispute in the near future, my administration’s pragmatic approach is to maintain the status quo of no unification, no independence, and no use of force under the Republic of China’s constitution while cultivating harmonious relations and promoting friendly interaction. Events have shown that this approach creates space for
Looking toward the future, surveys conducted by our Mainland Affairs Council show that an overwhelming majority of people in
Do you think it will ever dawn on your opposition that true, complete, and formal independence from the mainland is a very slim likelihood indeed, at least for the foreseeable future?
Ma: The Republic of China has been a sovereign, independent nation since its establishment in 1912, and next year will mark its centennial. It therefore does not need to pursue independence. In fact, there is no nation in the world which declares independence twice. This is the practical reality across the Taiwan Strait as well as the common understanding of the great majority of people in
What are the risks, if any, that
Ma: Negotiating the ECFA is an indispensable aspect of the government’s overall strategy for strengthening
Some people are concerned that the ECFA will create the risk of overreliance on mainland
The agreement is designed to help cross-strait economic relations move forward in an orderly, gradual fashion, in accordance with World Trade Organization principles and in consideration of our respective economic conditions.
It is similar to an FTA in nature, not a customs union or common market. Therefore, claims that it will cause
What would your government have to do to induce the PRC to begin a less-threatening redeployment of cross-strait missiles?
It is beyond our ability to force mainland authorities to move their missiles. But through ongoing economic and cultural exchanges, we will keep working to advance cross-strait understanding and friendship and lead people on both sides of the
What would the PRC have to do to enable you to persuade your people that
Ma: Since I came to office on May 20, 2008, I’ve done my utmost to promote peace across the
The scale of mainland
The purpose of our arms purchases is to ensure our sustainable development. Maintaining an adequate defense force is an essential “investment in peace” that can also afford us more confidence in cross-strait talks. Besides, we need highly capable armed forces responsive to dangers posed by multifarious new types of unconventional warfare. So we won’t give up building the defensive power we realistically need in response to actions mainland
Cross-strait détente is no reason for our armed forces to relent in their mission to stay strong and protect the nation. They will remain vigilant and do what it takes to deal with any external threat and play a positive support role in the development of cross-strait relations.