President Ma on CNN Talk Asia

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was recently interviewed by Anjali Rao on CNN’s Talk Asia program. You can watch the video on the CNN site in two parts: part 1 and part 2. CNN’s background article is here. It’s a good chance to hear what Ma wants to tell the world in English.

Ma takes a backhand swipe at former President Chen Shui-bian by saying that all his family members have resigned from their jobs to avoid conflict of interest. Even slightly more over the top was when he said he can’t control the legislators from the opposition (DPP) but his party members “won’t do that” (referring to physically obstructing  activities in the Legislative Yuan).

Ma’s statements on cross-strait relations appear quite formulaic and scripted. Taiwan’s Central News Agency reports on the interview. (Updated with a permanent link. It is titled “Taiwan will not negotiate with China under military threat: Ma” and dated 20 July 2008).

In the interview on CNN’s TalkAsia with host Anjali Rao, Ma said Taiwan has already requested that China’s more than 1,000 missiles targeting Taiwan be removed.

Ma also stressed the importance of Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the World Health Organization, saying that “Taiwan must preserve its international space.”

“These issues are very complicated and are inter-connected with each other (with Beijing) . Of course, those issues cannot be solved overnight, ” he said in the interview conducted July 14.

Despite the improving relationship between Beijing and Taipei, Ma ruled out a direct meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao anytime soon.

The Taipei Times also carried a report on Ma’s CNN interview.

3 thoughts on “President Ma on CNN Talk Asia

  1. Ma takes a backhand swipe at former President Chen Shui-bian by saying that all his family members have resigned from their jobs to avoid conflict of interest.

    A large part of what brought Chen to power was that he appeared to offer an alternative to the prevalent KMT corruption. After doing so, he ended up provoking the largest anti-corruption protest I’ve ever seen and his family got caught stealing via opportunities his presidency created for them. Considering what Chen did, I think it’s fair for Ma to clarify that his family won’t be in a position to to the same.

    Chen’s comments about Ma’s dead father’s urn, now those constituted a “back-handed swipe”.

  2. Mark, The problem lies in the fact that corruption is presented by the KMT as a problem limited to one person or one party. And unfortunately many people in Taiwan buy this bullshit as witnessed by you in the largest anti-corruption you’ve ever seen. If the KMT want to get serious about overcoming the problem of corruption then they also have to clean up their own house, something they so far seem unable to do.

  3. The way I see it, it’s a bunch of corrupt old politicians on both sides. Naturally, each party puts the blame on the other. If Ma’s family can keep their fingers out of the trough, good for them. If not, at least they’ll be punished more in the court of public opinion after his assurances about how squeaky clean his administration will be.

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