TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Wednesday (Aug. 26) slammed former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), saying the two are ignorant of the fact that China is a threat to regional stability and that they do not dare speak out against Beijing.
DPP spokesperson Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳) said in a press release Wednesday evening that when Chiang assumed the KMT chairmanship, he vowed to push for party reform and review its cross-strait policy. However, she stated that after being challenged by former party chairmen such as Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), and Lien Chan (連戰), his attitude shifted, and he backed off from introducing any new changes to KMT policies, CNA reported.
Ma’s recent comment that China’s strategy of striking Taiwan is to "let the first battle be the last" has stirred heated debate. Defending his fellow party member, Chiang recently said it is normal for a democratic society to question those in power and that the government should not stigmatize those who remind people of the dangers of war.
Yen pointed out that the Belgium-based International Crisis Group issued a warning in a June report that China's military activities, including fighter jets circumventing Taiwan, have increased substantially. This not only aggravates tensions in the Taiwan Strait but also "destroys" regional stability, Yen stated.
She continued by saying that Ma and Chiang are oblivious to the fact that China has unilaterally undermined regional stability and accused them of not daring to condemn Beijing. Instead, they antagonize their fellow Taiwanese for their insistence on sovereignty, freedom, and democracy, which places them opposite of the international trend of democracy, Yen said.
Yen further stated that this has made it difficult for the KMT to shake its reputation as a political party that "minimizes itself when encountering China” and has prevented the party from improving its standing in mainstream Taiwanese public opinion.