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Ma blames 2014 Sunflower Movement for worsened cross-strait relations

'This kind of endangerment and harm to the country makes one feel pained and malicious': Ex-president Ma

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Former President Ma Ying-jeou 

Former President Ma Ying-jeou  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on Tuesday morning (Nov. 17) criticized the 2014 Sunflower Movement on Facebook for what he personally perceived as being detrimental to cross-strait relations.

In his post, Ma said that he had worked hard to promote the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement during his tenure but that the agreement was essentially "destroyed" by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Sunflower Movement. "This kind of endangerment and harm to the country makes one feel pained and malicious," he remarked.

Ma also lamented that Taiwan has been excluded from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which is now the world’s largest trade agreement. He pointed out that the Minister of Economic Affairs had said Taiwan would be required to comply with China’s "one country, two systems" in order to join the new Asian trading bloc. "This kind of ideological view is worrying,” the former president stated.

DPP Secretary-General Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) responded to Ma’s comments on Facebook Tuesday evening, saying that the Sunflower Movement was probably a "permanent wound" in Ma’s heart.

The movement prevented cross-strait relations from rapidly tilting toward "one China," Lin said, adding that it had also stopped Taiwan’s economy from over-relying on a single market and resisted Ma and Xi Jinping’s (習近平) cross-strait unification efforts. "Taiwan has regained its footing after suffering from the Ma administration’s mistake of putting all its eggs in one basket," he went on to say.

Lin pointed out that while Ma cherishes a past when Taiwan would succumb to China in exchange for favors, Taiwan is now one of the few countries that have maintained positive economic growth amid the pandemic. He also noted that the share of imports from Southeast Asia has gradually increased and that the ongoing U.S.-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue is another important opportunity to boost the Taiwanese economy.