It’s a five-page interview. What intrigues me the most is this:
Washington Post: Even though you have improved cross-strait relations, expanded international participation and signed many agreements, some people are still criticizing you for what is referred to as maitai, or selling out Taiwan. What would your response to that be?
President Ma: From the question you just asked, they say that we are “selling out Taiwan,” saying that we have given up something, but they are unable to say what it is that we have given up.
Indeed~ What has been given up under Ma’s “peaceful” across-strait relationship? Something tacit? Something intangible that underlines the China-inclined policies? I actually like this analysis written by American Enterprise Institute (AEI) researcher Shannon Mann:
In the past five years, Beijing has used its influence to dissuade other countries from signing trade agreements with Taiwan and Taipei has been led into deep economic ties with China, while Chinese leaders have openly stated that economic relations with Taiwan are part of an “embedded reunification” strategy, Mann says.
“Today, the American punditocracy believes that Taiwan’s reunification with China through intensifying economic reliance is inevitable,” Mann says. “If Taiwan integrates with China, however, US strategic interests in Asia will be greatly diminished both for the US and for our regional allies.”
Very straightforward, no word-playing, isn’t it?