Friday, June 8, 2012

Interpreting President Ma Ying-jeou’s inauguration speech

l  As predicted in ETRC market report weeks ago, Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s inauguration speech on May 20 did not contain any major surprises.

l  Besides reiterating his long-held commitment to the “1992 consensus” and the “no unification, no independence, and no use of force” position, Ma did elaborate further on the concept of “one country, two areas” by declaring that the “one country” refers to the Republic of China (ROC).

l  It was not something Beijing wanted to hear, but it was necessary to silence domestic critics upset over the implied “one China” connotation in the original formula.

l  Overall, Beijing was mildly disappointed with Ma’s speech. The original expectation was to hear Ma stating something like “Mainland and Taiwan belong to a single China,” which, if said, could signal to Beijing that the two sides could be inching closer to cross-Strait political dialogue.

l  However, since the ROC constitution has a “one-China” framework, Beijing cannot be too unhappy with the speech.

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