Formosan Association for Public Affairs
552 7th Street. SE. Washington, DC 20003, USA
Support Democracy, Support Taiwan
Washington DC - February 8th 2011
Contact: (202) 547-3686
Taiwanese-Americans disturbed by President Ma's shift on "China" language
A throwback to the times of the Civil War
Washington, D.C. - Taiwanese-Americans today expressed surprise and indignation
about recent press reports from Taiwan indicating that President Ma Ying-jeou
now wants the people of the island nation to refer to China as "the mainland" or
the "other side."
According to the reports, President Ma had said in a February 7th meeting with
leading government and legislative officials that China should not be referred
to by its official name, but instead be called "the mainland" or simply "the
The move is apparently part of the Ma government's attempts to define the
so-called "Republic of China" (ROC) as the "real" China, and "the mainland" as
part of this ROC.
FAPA President Yang stated in response: "To me this is a throwback to the bad
old days of the Civil War between the Chinese Nationalists of Chiang Kai-shek
and the Communists of Mao Zedong." He added: "The Ma government should realize
that the 'ROC' has lost its legitimacy more than thirty years ago, and that the
new reality is that the PRC represents China, and that Taiwan is a free and
democratic country separate from China."
President Yang continued: "In order for Taiwan to preserve its democracy it
needs to strengthen its ties with the international community. And everyone in
the international community refers to Taiwan as 'Taiwan.' The time for
anachronistic 'ROC' fictions is over."
The statement by President Ma comes at the heels of efforts by both the PRC and
the Ma administration to lock Taiwan into the "1992 consensus", a fiction
conjured up by former Ma government official Su Chi, who said that in 1992 the
two sides agreed to "One China" but that each side could have its own
The problem with this "consensus" is that the PRC never agreed that each side
could have its own interpretation, while former President Lee Teng-hui - who
served as President from 1988 through 2000 - has stated that such a consensus
never existed in the first place.
President Yang concluded: "It would behoove the Ma government to come back to
reality, and accept that China is China, and Taiwan is Taiwan. Playing his
semantic games is detrimental to Taiwan and its future as a free and democratic
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Last Updated (Monday, 14 February 2011 16:20)