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Ma Ying-jeou’s “trust Xi” remark sparks KMT’s last-minute damage control ahead Saturday’s Presidential poll

Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou’s recent statement sparked controversy by asserting that, regarding cross-strait relations, Taiwan must place trust in the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping.

This is anticipated to impact negatively on Kuomintang (KMT)’s presidential candidates, Hou Youyi and Zhao Shaokang, as they head into Saturday’s polls, prompting the KMT to engage in damage control.

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TAIWAN: In a recent interview, the former President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou, sparked controversy by asserting that, regarding cross-strait relations, Taiwan must place trust in the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping.

This statement unfolded during an interview with DW News, which aired on Wednesday (10th Jan), just three days before Taiwan’s Presidential Election poll.

The elections witnessed the opposition party, Kuomintang (KMT), striving to regain political control amid an intense contest with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Ma’s assertion has undoubtedly created a stir within the KMT, and its repercussions are expected to cast a negative shadow on the KMT’s presidential candidates, Hou Youyi and Zhao Shaokang.

As reported by Taiwanese media, the KMT finds itself in a frenzy of damage control efforts in the aftermath of the controversial remarks made by the former KMT Chairman.

The situation is aptly described by the local saying, “What to fear are not god-like opponents, but rather goose-like teammates” (不怕神對手,只怕豬隊友).

Mr Ma downplays “dictator” label for Xi Jinping

During the DW interview, when Tsou Tzung-han, DW Taipei Bureau Chief, asked Ma whether Xi Jinping is a dictator, as per Joe Biden’s characterization, Ma responded that the term is not particularly crucial in the context of cross-strait relations.

“Because we have to create a situation that we can deal with each other peacefully without having to use force. ”

“And that is probably more important than any other rhetoric you have,” Mr Ma told the journalist.

Mr Tsou then asked, “So you think  you can trust him (Xi Jinping)?”

Mr Ma replied, “As far as cross-strait relations, you have to.”

Mr Ma warns Taiwan would face defeat in direct conflict with Mainland China

In the interview, the former Taiwan president from 2008 to 2016 also warned that Taiwan would face a resounding defeat in a direct military conflict with China.

Ma characterized the idea that Taiwan should invest sufficiently in its military to withstand a Chinese attack until assistance from the United States or Japan arrives as “overly optimistic.”

“No  matter how much you defend yourself, you can never fight a war with the mainland.”

“They’re too large, much stronger than us,” he added.

Mr Ma asserted that Taiwan should employ non-military strategies to alleviate tensions with China, highlighting that this approach is favoured by people on both sides of the strait.

“If you’ve always believed in a strong defence, it’s all right. But in that situation [for Taiwan] it would be very dangerous to our people.”

When asked whether this perspective could be perceived as “defeatist,” Ma argued that deterrence is a formidable challenge, stressing that Taiwan “should not place all our faith in defence.”

“We have to use peaceful means,” Ma said.

Mr Ma has consistently advocated for avoiding conflict with Beijing, making it a key political rallying point for him.

His policies have been centred around improving relations with China. In the DW interview, Ma partly attributed the escalating cross-strait tensions to the DPP.

KMT Presidential hopeful Hou You-yi distances himself from Mr Ma’s view on China

According to Taiwan media reports, Mr Ma’s remarks triggered discussions across the political sphere.

When questioned about the matter, KMT Presidential hopeful Hou You-yi responded, “Ma Ying-jeou’s thoughts differ somewhat from mine. I have never harboured unrealistic thoughts about China’s intentions.”

Interestingly, Ma was allegedly removed from the gathering on the night before polling day, despite his name having been initially disclosed as one of the participants.

The KMT explained, stating that Ma was not invited to prevent the Democratic Progressive Party from seizing an opportunity to attack, as reported by Mirror Media.

Mr Ma countered this by stating that he was not invited.

Screenshots of previous announcements, however, show Ma listed as a confirmed attendee for the event.

Media analysts suggest that this move by the KMT might indicate an attempt at damage control in response to Ma’s comments, avoiding his appearance at the event to mitigate potential repercussions.

The DPP on Wednesday described Ma’s remark as a “departure from reality.”

DPP spokesperson Tai Wei-shan (戴瑋姍) called Ma’s remarks in an interview with Deutsche Well (DW) a “despicable” attempt to give foreign media a false impression of the public consensus on cross-strait relations in Taiwan.

Accusing the former president of having “no idea what era he lives in,” Tai said Ma’s views were a “departure from reality” that differed sharply from those held by the Taiwanese society.

During the DPP’s governance, Taiwan has adopted a more confrontational stance towards China.

Concurrently, Xi Jinping has asserted his commitment to “reunify” Beijing and Taipei, even if it involves the use of force.

In March 2023, Ma faced criticism from the DPP for visiting Beijing amid heightened tensions.

During his visit, Ma echoed Xi’s calls, stating, “We are all Chinese,” emphasizing the shared heritage of ethnic Chinese globally.

The upcoming elections in Taiwan are prominently featuring discussions on relations with China and the potential threat of war.

Taiwan’s Central Election Commission (CEC) announced on Tuesday that for the upcoming presidential election on 13 January, a total of 19,548,531 people are eligible to vote.

However, an additional 17,476 individuals will be able to vote for legislators-at-large due to a residency requirement difference between the two elections.

Furthermore, 19.03 million voters are eligible to cast their votes for district legislators, while 438,199 of the electorate can vote for indigenous legislators.

Among the six municipalities, New Taipei boasts the highest number of eligible voters, totalling 3.4 million. This is followed by Taichung with 2.32 million, Kaohsiung with 2.31 million, Taipei with 2.09 million, Taoyuan with 1.88 million, and Tainan with 1.56 million voters.

In the presidential election, the largest voting bloc comprises individuals aged 40-49, with 3.88 million eligible voters, making up 19.88 per cent of the electorate.

This is followed by the 50-59 year-old group, which includes 3.53 million eligible voters, accounting for 18.06 percent of the electorate, according to the CEC.

The CEC also noted that approximately 2.84 million young voters aged 20-29 are eligible to vote in this presidential election.

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The ‘EO’ Men will overlord all the EOs and Only their Selected EO will remain. Then, their Opposite OE is also another line they control or hope to control. Whole day so free toying with ppl lives!!!!!!!!

HK was the Top Vice Entities and Taiwan the Top “white girl” entities. Whatever you call it. Their two groups to overlords others.

After the HK experience, China would have recognised that its “provinces” cannot be left on their own too long. The central government’s policies for the territory were supposed to remain unchanged for a period of 50 years after 1997. This is now meaningless.The reality is that HK is effectively back in the embrace of the motherland. In this context, it would not surprise me if China were to be more assertive of its “ownership” of Taiwan and would be ready and willing to go to war to bring the province back into its fold. The longer China delays claiming back… Read more »

This old chap has lost his marbles!

It’s not just Taiwan and it’s people who should trust XiXi, … the world over should !!!

Hahaha888hahaha88hahahaha !!!

Just look at what and how “he’s” done and transformed, … what was once known as HongKong !!!

So yes, trust the “dictator” and all will be well, … well and truly f**ked !!!

TRUST is a Deadly Religion

Chinese 5000 years Culture rooted in : 1. Dictatorship Rule. Emperor system lasted most of the 5000 years. Modern Chinese countries have negligible experience in no dictatorship rule compared to the 5000 years under emperors. 5000 years of DNA. 2. Do singaporeans generally Demand for Democracy? They have not fought for democracy since kicked out of Federation of Malaya. So, they mostly do not know the real need for Democracy. Being so Timid and afraid of the G suggests the lack of understanding or appreciation for democracy. There is no difference if there is elections or not in the last… Read more »

Taiwan shall become a China One Party Ruled state.
The next may be other Chinese majority parts of The Greater China where the citizens do not demand for democracy or have no Courage to Afford Democracy. Would smaller states Abolish Elections?

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