Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Wu Poh-hsiung’s (吳伯雄) “one country, two areas (一國兩區)” comments continued to stir up a ruckus yesterday as netizens flooded President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) Facebook page with comments demanding that he clarify his stance on Taiwan’s status.
Wu, in a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) in Beijing on Thursday, touted a “one country, two areas” concept to improve cross-strait ties.
That approach to the cross-strait dispute drew immediate criticism from opposition parties, who accused the KMT and the Ma administration of saying both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to “one country.”
The Presidential Office on Friday dismissed the criticism and said the Ma government continued to handle cross-strait relations under the principle of “one China,” meaning the Republic of China (ROC).
However, many netizens posted their opposing views on Ma’s Facebook page, questioning Ma’s pro-China stance and urging him to clarify his cross-strait policy.
“Wu Poh-hsiung is apparently the messenger for Ma, and the ‘one country, two areas’ comments proved that President Ma should be addressed as ‘regional chief Ma (馬區長)’ instead,” a netizen surnamed Chen (陳) posted on Ma’s Facebook page.
Another netizen, Samuel Wu, ridiculed Ma’s campaign promise to achieve things that the former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government had failed to accomplish.
“You have successfully raised gas prices, are working to lift the ban on US beef containing ractopamine, covered up information about the outbreak of avian flu and moved toward unification by saying that Taiwan and China belong to one country,” he wrote.
Ma posted an article on his attendance at a 12-year compulsory education policy forum on his Facebook page on Friday, and did not respond to the more than 1,000 comments on the “one country, two areas” remarks.
In response, Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) said the office has already said that Ma’s stance on cross-strait relations remained unchanged and that the “one country” refers to the ROC.
Separately yesterday, former Tainan county commissioner Su Huan-chih (蘇煥智) of the DPP said he planned to hold a march on May 20 in protest against the “one country, two areas” proposal.
May 20 is the day Ma will be inaugurated for his second and final presidential term.
Talk of “one country, two areas” has relegated Ma to the status of “a regional chief” rather than president of a country, Su said, adding that the Presidential Office’s support for Wu’s remarks was tantamount to making the “one country, two areas” concept the official line of the Taiwanese government.
Su, who has declared his intention to run for the position of DPP chair, said he hoped the march would gather Taiwanese voices and show members of the international community Taiwanese’s determination to uphold democracy, freedom and sovereignty.
Additional reporting by Lin Shu-hui