The China Post: Ma vows to rejoin IMF, World Bank if elected
Headline, Page 1
Former Kuomintang Chairman Ma Ying-jeou yesterday said if elected president next year, he would seek to have Taiwan reaccepted into major international financial and economic groups, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Mapping out the foreign policy for a government he may start leading next year, the presidential candidate from the main opposition party said getting Taiwan back into the IMF and World Bank would be one of his major goals.
He said he would try to negotiate for changes in the groups' membership rules, which currently only accept sovereign nations.
At the same time, Taiwan would hold talks with China in search of a modus vivendi, where the island would be allowed to have certain room in the international community, the candidate said.
Both sides could then avoid wasting their resources and hurting each other because of wrangling over Taiwan's international participation, he said.
Two major international bodies of which Taiwan is still a member are the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
But Taiwan's membership with both groups is registered under the name "Chinese Taipei," now a common designation of the island in international activities, such as the Olympic Games.
Ma's so-called "4 Es" foreign policy, which refer to engagement, economy, elasticity, and equality, is an attempt to abandon the present administration's hostile and self-isolation approach towards China.
The ruling Democratic Progressive Party has shown no intention to engage the Chinese communists in cross-strait talks, which have stalled since the mid-1990s because of Taiwan's obvious shift towards a pro-independence line.
The DPP administration has insisted that China treat the island as a sovereign nation and allow it to register itself as "Taiwan" in international groups, such as the United Nations -- clearly knowing that China will not agree and that cross-strait talks will not reopen under such circumstances. China's impatience with the DPP administration's pro-independence line has been growing.
Many critics and the opposition camp have blamed poor cross-strait relations for Taiwan's slow economic growth in recent years.
While the DPP has been estranging itself and Taiwan from China, the exchanges between Ma's party and the Chinese communists have been growing.
Honorary KMT Chairman Lien Chan has visited China a few times since retiring as the nation's vice president in 2004.
Ma's "4 Es" policy is aimed at engaging Taiwan in talks with China and in participation in international bodies in order to boost Taiwan's economy.
Ma said Taiwan should show "elasticity" about the names it could use for joining international bodies.
"Taiwan," "Republic of China," or "Chinese Taipei," should all be options, he said.
But he stressed that the island, whatever name it may use, should be treated as an equal in any organization.
There is skepticism over the possibility of Taiwan returning to the IMF or World Bank.
The central bank pointed out that Taiwan has been barred from the IMF and World Bank after it lost its UN seat in 1971 to China, according to the United Evening News.
The central bank has tried all these year to rejoin the two bodies, but has failed because of China's objection and interference.
Taipei Times: Ma Ying-jeou accuses government of isolating Taiwan
By Mo Yan-chih, Page 3
Accusing the government of isolating Taiwan in terms of its foreign relations, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday pledged to seek membership in international organizations including the World Bank should he win next year's presidential election.
Ma proposed a four-point plan to forge a new path for Taiwan's diplomacy.
Describing the government's foreign policy as "amateurish, capricious, dogmatic and based on brinkmanship," Ma vowed to improve cross-strait relations, boost the economy and expand the nation's influence in international communities with his four-point plan, based on "engagement, economy, elasticity and equality."
"We need to find a new modus vivendi or model of living to break the diplomatic isolation... We have to reach a consensus with China beforehand," Ma said while addressing a Model United Nations students' conference at National Chengchi University.
Ma said that Taiwan should resume engagement and negotiations with China on the issue of the nation's international space.
"The issue should be resolved on the basis of pragmatism, not zero-sum games," he said.
Ma also pledged to normalize Taiwan's trade relations with China, and make efforts to re-enter international economic bodies, especially the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), of which Taiwan was a member until 1980.
As the world's 18th-largest economic entity, Ma said, Taiwan should be able to exercise its economic influence, develop relations with IMF member countries, including China, and work toward entering the IMF, which now accepts only UN member countries.
Accusing the government of "rigid dogmatism" on foreign policy, such as "inflexibly using the name `Taiwan'" to apply for WHO membership, Ma said that the KMT would employ more flexible methods to develop foreign relations, such as being less rigid on the name issue while demanding equality in terms of the country's rights in international organizations.
Rather than pouring all efforts into joining the WHO and the UN, Ma suggested that the nation should attach more importance to promoting the country's role as a full member in the WTO, including providing training to negotiators to help expand economic relations.
Taiwan News: Ma criticized government’s foreign policy
By Jenny W. Hsu, Page 2
The ruling government is both incompetent and inefficient when it comes to foreign affairs, said Kuomintang presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday as he promised that if elected he would use a "four-E" approach of engagement, economy, elasticity, and equality, to solve Taiwan's diplomatic hardship if elected president.
"Taiwan's foreign relations have been trapped in an isolated quagmire and the Democratic Progressive Party government should be blamed for its incompetence," he said.
The former Taipei City mayor made the remarks while addressing a group of National Chengchi University (國立政治大學) students during a mock United Nations meeting.
Ma criticized the DPP of using amateurs instead of trained diplomats when handling the country's diplomatic matters. As a result, Ma said, the government has backed itself into further isolation and thus put Taiwan's economy in danger.
Taiwan is now viewed as a "troublemaker" instead of the "exemplary economic miracle" it was touted as in the past, he asserted.
Ma also said Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) administration is "capricious" because it has lacked a comprehensive policy to cultivate Taiwan's foreign relations since taking office seven years ago. Instead of being mindful of the country's general welfare, the administration has jeopardized national interests for the sake of its own political agenda, he added.
When Chen took office in 2000, Ma said, he made a "four noes" pledge to keep the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. Six years later, however, Chen proposed to dissolve the National Unification Council and most recently, advocated Taiwan independence and a new constitution.
These moves, Ma argued, directly violated Chen's past pledges. The president's "flippancy" has seriously irritated the U.S.-Taiwan relations and caused worry in the international community of conflict in the Taiwan Strait during Chen's last year in office.
The administration's dogmatic and inflexible attitude has also marred Taiwan's diplomacy, he continued, saying the government's decision this year to apply for World Health Organization membership under the designation "Taiwan" has not only backfired, but damaged Taiwan's existing friendship with allies and non-allies countries.
"The DPP government knew it was an impossible mission but still forced our allies to take a stance against tremendous pressure from China," he said. The result was an embarrassment to Taiwan, especially when the U.S., Japan, and the European Union also had no choice but to veto Taiwan's admission.
This year Taiwan's WHO full membership bid was defeated when only 17 out 148 countries voted in favor of Taiwan. Costa Rica, one of Taiwan's allies, voted against the resolution while several other allies either abstained or didn't show up to vote.
Ma said Taiwan should employ the "modus vivendi" model when dealing with Beijing and urged the government to resume engagements and negotiation with China. By doing so, it could create a "three-win" situation in which Taiwan, China, and the international community would benefit, he said.
In the era of globalization, Ma said, Taiwan should also actively pursue free trade agreements with major trading countries and take advantage of its membership in the World Trade Organization and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation to boost the country's economic edge, rather than using those platforms for "political purposes."
Taiwan must also bid to become part of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in order to be more substantially involved in the global economic arena.
Elasticity in diplomacy often guarantees the best result, Ma noted, stressing that the government must be flexible in its foreign affairs strategies instead of only sticking to one option.
He cited Taiwan's willingness to label its de facto embassies as "representative offices" instead of consulates in non-allied countries as an example of how diplomatic elasticity has worked in the past.
If the KMT gains control of the government in 2008, Ma vowed to increase Taiwan's participation in international organizations by adhering to the principle of equality.
"No matter what name we use in bidding for entry to any organization, Taiwan's status and rights in the groups should be equally preserved as member-states."